Mizuno Running Team Inspire

As we approach tomorrow’s annual New York City Marathon, we wanted to share the amazing stories of five New York residents with inspirational stories of personal triumph. Team Inspire NYC are supporting each other, while providing a source of inspiration and support for countless other runners and individuals facing their own seemingly insurmountable life challenges.

Mizuno has provided the team with marathon entry fees, running shoes and apparel to enhance their running journeys.  While this year’s NYC Marathon will undoubtedly present you with a myriad of individual stories of adversity and triumph, few will showcase the power of support and inspiration, quite like Team Inspire NYC, the diverse challenges each member has faced, and the collective support they are providing each other.

Carley Houser

As a recovering alcoholic, Carley uses running to help inspire her to stay sober. She successfully completed a 12-step program and has remained sober more than three years. As a therapeutic release, Carley now participates in “Back on My Feet” running events (an organization providing programs and support for the homeless). Carley is training for her first marathon.

Susana Montesinos

Susana truly embodies everything Team Inspire NYC stands for: dedication, grit and inspiration. She is a member of the Runstreet Club and is not only running for herself, but is running in honor of her late father who passed away from pancreatic cancer. She started her journey three years ago, at a time when she could barely walk or run, and in desperate need to lose weight. Today, she has lost nearly 35 pounds and has overcome numerous minor injuries. The past three years, and all the trials and tribulations, come down to her desire to complete her first marathon.

Leo Fernandez

This year’s marathon will be Leo’s fifth. He has also competed in triathlons and a 70.3 half iron at Rev3 Maine. After that event, Leo decided that completing another race faster or longer did not interest him anymore; he needed a better purpose, a less self-serving purpose. Since then, he has set his heart on helping others discover the benefits of running and staying active. This year, Leo is running the marathon for “Team for Kids,” a national organization for youth programs.

Doug Cobb

Doug is one of Leo’s protégés; he is training for this year’s marathon under the direction of Leo. This is Doug’s first marathon and he and Leo have been training together. Doug is also running for “Team for Kids.”

Kovon Flowers

Kovon is dedicated to spread the message and mission of a healthy brotherhood. He is the captain of the Black Men Run chapter, which boasts more than 380 members, and joined the club to get into shape following a stroke. Flowers will lead 20 chapter members running in the marathon, all of whom have overcome a medical ailment (bad knees, respiratory problems, heart failures). Black Men Run and Kovon are a source of support and inspiration to many runners.