Team Literacy Partners runs The 50th TCS New York City Marathon!

The 50th TCS New York City Marathon is just around the corner, and Literacy Partners is proud and excited to be an Official Charity Partner for this historic race. Our runners have been training hard and we can’t wait to cheer them through their 26.2 miles.

Meet our 2021 Team Literacy Partners members below and visit their fundraising pages to support their run and literacy education!

Allison Malecha

What motivated you to run with Team Literacy Partners? Do you love to read? Do you have a personal experience connected to literacy?

I’ve been a reader since I was 4 years old and so many times books have been a lifeline for me. I’ve now spent my whole adult life working in books, hoping to help reach other readers in the same way. It’s a dream to get to run the marathon for an organization that promotes literacy and the power of reading.

What is your favorite book genre, book, or author?

I’m bad at favorites! But I love any story that takes me inside a new experience, or inside a familiar experience in a new way. A book I’m really excited for this fall is Jocelyn Nicole Johnson’s My Monticello

What is your main goal on race day?

To finish! And to get to touch all five boroughs in one day, something I’ve never done before.

When you are not running, what other activities do you enjoy? Anything else you would like to share?

Mostly reading!

Emily Cunningham 

What motivated you to run with Team Literacy Partners? Do you love to read? Do you have a personal experience connected to literacy?

My decision to run the New York City Marathon in support of Literacy Partners brings together two of my passions: running and reading. 

What is your main goal on race day?

Finish and have fun!

How are you preparing for this marathon?

Cautiously and precisely! Following an online training plan.

Susannah Davies

What motivated you to run with Team Literacy Partners? Do you love to read? Do you have a personal experience connected to literacy?

I find running and reading to be freeing and empowering!

What is your favorite book genre, book, or author?

Just Kids by Patti Smith is the best book I read recently; I have too many favorites!

How are you preparing for this marathon?

Focusing on long runs and doing work-outs with the New York Harriers. Doing some yoga and spinning for cross-training.

What is your main goal on race day?

To get a PR and be happy with my results.

When you are not running, what other activities do you enjoy? Anything else you would like to share?

Yoga, cooking, going to concerts/ listening to music, spending time with friends and family.

Lauren Bittrich

What motivated you to run with Team Literacy Partners? Do you love to read? Do you have a personal experience connected to literacy?

I am very passionate about Literacy Partners’ mission and am proud to be a small part of their fundraising efforts. I’ve been a reader since I was a kid and was so blessed to have a family that encouraged my love of literature by reading to me and taking me on very frequent trips to the library. I firmly believe that every child should have the same opportunities to not just fall in love with the written word but to develop their literacy skills.

What is your favorite book genre, book, or author?

A favorite book of late is Mexican Gothic (I’m a sucker for a good horror story) but I also love voicey memoirs, like Cazzie David’s Nobody Asked For This and Patricia Lockwood’s Priestdaddy. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennet is another one I return to often. Books are among the best things in life!

How are you preparing for this marathon?

Following a training plan that will (hopefully) yield a sub-four hour finish time.

When you are not running, what other activities do you enjoy? Anything else you would like to share?

I love reading and playing with my corgi, Anne (named after Anne of Green Gables!).

Julia Ringo

What motivated you to run with Team Literacy Partners? Do you love to read? Do you have a personal experience connected to literacy?

Reading is everything to me – my work, my greatest pleasure since childhood. I’m so proud to support this amazing cause.

What is your favorite book genre, book, or author?

The Transit Of Venus by Shirley Hazzard is a perfect book!

How are you preparing for this marathon?

Lots of training runs (listening to compelling audiobooks helps with these!), adding distance week by week. And I’m experiencing the world of energy gel for the first time!

What is your main goal on race day?

I’d like to finish feeling strong and in love with my city.

When you are not running, what other activities do you enjoy? Anything else you would like to share?

I love to read, write, dance, listen to music, and watch old movies.

Alex George

What motivated you to run with Team Literacy Partners? Do you love to read? Do you have a personal experience connected to literacy?

My life is in books. I have published seven novels (the most recent, The Paris Hours, was published by Macmillan and was a national bestseller); I own an independent bookstore in Columbia, Missouri (Skylark Bookshop); and I founded and run a national book festival, the Unbound Book Festival. Supporting literacy is a fundamental principle that underpins everything I do and care about.

What is your favorite book genre, book, or author?

This is a totally unfair question to ask a bookseller!

How are you preparing for this marathon?

For the first time I am working with a trainer, who is preparing my training plans. It’s awesome (and exhausting.)

What is your main goal on race day?

To finish, obviously, but I REALLY want to break four hours for the first time.

When you are not running, what other activities do you enjoy? Anything else you would like to share?

Being in the bookshop, selling books, is my happy place. I read a ton, obviously, and I love to cook, be with my kids, and beat my wife at backgammon.