NEW YORK, Sept. 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE: FL), the New York-based specialty athletic retailer, announced the roster of its annual "Foot Locker Five Borough Challenge" team today. Comprised of five runners – one from each borough of New York City – who have each overcome significant challenges, Foot Locker will unite these five inspiring individuals on Sunday, Nov.5 for a unique race-within-a-race to honor their motivational stories and achievements. The team will run the first 13 miles of the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon together, before continuing on to finish the remainder of the race at their own pace. The runner who crosses the finish line first will win a Tiffany plate as well as city-wide bragging rights.
In support of its official TCS New York City Marathon sponsorship, Foot Locker celebrates the five athletes who have used running to overcome personal trials and tribulations.
"Each member of this year's Five Borough Challenge team exudes determination and perseverance," said Andy Gray, vice president and general manager for Foot Locker U.S. "Running has played an integral role in coping with their hardships, and Foot Locker is proud to provide these amazing athletes with a platform to showcase their physical and mental strength."
Inspired by their stories of conquering adversity, Foot Locker is proud to introduce its "Five Borough" Challenge runners:
- Bronx: Katie Zottola
- Brooklyn: Peter O'Rourke
- Manhattan: Dorothy Carlow
- Queens: Roger Mendoza
- Staten Island: Chre Genao
Katie Zottola, Bronx
Bronx native, Katie Zottola, has always been fit. A casual runner since high school, her passion for the sport grew during her time as a collegiate athlete. After graduating from college in 2008 and beginning a career as a registered nurse in a neonatal ICU, she continued running with two of her childhood friends as a way to relieve stress. In December of 2011, one of those friends, Margaret, tragically passed away unexpectedly. "We had always dreamed of running the NYC marathon together. After her passing, my passion for running intensified and had a deeper meaning. It became a time for me to reflect on the valuable memories we shared, and a way to keep Margaret's memory alive," said Zottola, who is set to run her second marathon.
Peter O'Rourke, Brooklyn
As a young kid growing up in Bay Ridge, Peter O'Rourke struggled with childhood obesity. By the time O'Rourke entered high school, the scale read more than 300 pounds, and he decided to do something about it. "I dealt with a high school bully who made me hate myself and ruined my self-esteem," said O'Rourke, who is preparing for his 27th marathon. "I started running as a means to lose weight. Within a year, I lost 140 pounds, and was able to rebuild my self-esteem." Peter's passion for his new-found healthy lifestyle led him to a career where he could impact others. He's currently a New York City physical education teacher, hoping to inspire and help his students who are struggling with their health and/or dealing with the stresses of bullying.
Dorothy Carlow, Manhattan
Manhattan resident, Dorothy Carlow, was 17 years old when her father was convicted of a felony, and sent to prison. Carlow's family lost everything, leaving them with the burden of picking up the pieces that were left behind. Soon after his conviction, she began running habitually. "I ran from the feelings of sadness, shame and anger, but then started running into those feelings, and eventually through them," said Carlow. "I learned to get comfortable with the uncomfortable." Carlow equates running to life, "There is pain, there is doubt, there is fear, but we fight to come out victorious, smiling and high-fiving!" Carlow's father will be at this year's TCS New York City Marathon cheering her on, as she runs her fourth marathon.
Roger Mendoza, Queens
In 2007, Roger shattered his foot after falling two stories while practicing parkour. Doctors told him it was one of the worst breaks they'd ever seen, and that he would never run again, let alone walk without a limp. Mendoza, however, was determined to prove them wrong. The day his uncle passed away, after a long struggle with Diabetes, he took his first steps without crutches. "Life can be taken away in an instant. He gave me the strength to will myself forward and take those steps without crutches," said Mendoza. After eight years of painful therapy, Mendoza ran his first marathon in 2015. In addition to the physical challenges he has overcome, he's also battled with depression that caused him to contemplate taking his life in 2016. He attributes his relationship with his nephew as the driving force to continue on. "I saw my nephew's face, and didn't want him to be left with his uncle's suicide as the story he'd have to tell," said Mendoza. "Running has helped me prevail over both physical and mental challenges." This will be Mendoza's fourth marathon.
Chre Genao, Staten Island
Chre Genao, will be running her fourth TCS New York City Marathon. Running regularly has helped Genao overcome the losses she's experienced throughout her life. In 2004, soon after her marriage and while she was pregnant with her first child, her mother was diagnosed with metastatic uterine cancer, and shortly after succumbed to the disease. In the years that followed, Genao's marriage fell apart, and her father was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2012, sadly losing his battle in 2014. "I was grateful that he got the opportunity to see so many of my races and accomplishments, but nothing compares to the hardship of being a single mother to three children, and losing my parents," said Genao. "I run to prove to myself and my children that I'm stronger than anything life throws at me."
Foot Locker is dedicated to inspiring and supporting all runners, whether they are beginners, weekend warriors, ultra-marathoners or anything in between. In addition to its official TCS New York City Marathon sponsorship, Foot Locker has supported running for the past 40 years through partnerships, campaigns and Foot Locker Cross Country Championships. This year's TCS New York City Marathon and Foot Locker Cross Country Championships are sponsored by New Balance.
About Foot Locker:
Foot Locker is part of Foot Locker, Inc., a specialty athletic retailer that operates more than 3,350 stores in 23 countries in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Through its Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker, Champs Sports, Footaction, SIX:02, Runners Point, and Sidestep retail stores, as well as its direct-to-customer channels, including, footlocker.com, eastbay.com and six02.com, the Company is a leading provider of athletic footwear and apparel.
Additional information may be found at footlocker.com | Twitter: @footlocker | Instagram: @footlocker | YouTube: youtube.com/footlocker | Blog: unlocked.footlocker.com | Facebook: facebook.com/footlocker
About the TCS New York City Marathon
The TCS New York City Marathon is the premier event of New York Road Runners (NYRR) and the largest marathon in the world. Over 1,000,000 people have finished the race since its first running in 1970 with just 127 entrants and 55 finishers running four laps around Central Park. The race expanded to all five boroughs in 1976 and just celebrated its 40th year as a five-borough affair. Held annually on the first Sunday of November, the race features over 50,000 runners including the world's top professional athletes and a vast range of competitive, recreational, and charity runners. Participants from approximately 125 countries tour the city, starting on Staten Island at the foot of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and running through the neighborhoods of Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx before ending in Manhattan. The NYRR Youth Invitational at the TCS New York City Marathon covered 1.8 miles of the race course in Central Park, beginning near mile 24 and finishing at the famed TCS New York City Marathon finish line. More than one million spectators and thousands of volunteers line the city streets in support of the runners, while millions more watch the television broadcast in 175 countries and territories, including viewers in the New York area on WABC-TV, Channel 7, nationally on ESPN2, and via various international broadcast partners. The race is part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, which features the world's top marathons—Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York—and crowns the top professional male and female marathoners each year. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a leading global IT services, consulting, and business solutions organization, is the premier partner of NYRR and the title sponsor of the TCS New York City Marathon. The 47th running of the TCS New York City Marathon is set for November 5, 2017. To learn more, visit www.tcsnycmarathon.org.
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SOURCE Foot Locker, Inc.