If you know me even a little bit, you know I am far...very far... from calling myself a runner. I never envisioned participating in race day from anywhere but the sidelines, watching the herds of insane athletes breeze through the finish. Then again, I never thought I would enter my thirties without my best friend beside me. So, as they say, when life hands you lemons, train for your first half marathon.
A lot of you may have never had a chance to meet Vinod, but I can tell you his idea of “going for a run” was somewhere between chasing an ice cream truck and hustling through LaGuardia to make his flight out to Toronto. Together, we were perennial bystanders at the NYC Marathon, cheering our crazy friends on, but never once imagined participating. And if he were here with us today, while he would have done to talk me out of running a half marathon, he would have certainly made me an unbeatable music playlist for the journey.
Vinod was a true lover of music, and in his honor, we have partnered with the Education Through Music (ETM) Organization to create the Vinod Music Project. Unfortunately, many inner-city NYC schools cannot afford basic music education. ETM partners with these schools to provide music as a core subject for all children, and utilizes music programs as a catalyst to improve academic achievement, motivation for school, and self-confidence. To date, the Vinod Music Project has generated over $26,000, opening the doors to music for New York City youth and pushing to close the national education achievement gap. I will be running the 2018 Brooklyn Half Marathon to raise money for ETM, and I hope you will show support by donating (money, candy, love) to the Vinod Music Project.
In just 25 years, Vinod spread his love for music and melodies to everyone he knew, leaving a legacy that has shaped the lives of hundreds of students. Even though Vinod won't be there for race day, I will remember him while listening to some of his favorite tunes as I journey through 13.1 miles. And I’ll imagine him standing there, smiling and cheering, as I breeze through the finish.
Learn more at https://etmonline.org/