• Brooke’s Marathon Journey: Starting miles

    The marathon was two days after Josh’s birthday and one week before the anniversary of his death. I’d packed Lara bars, sports beans, and a bag of toasted white sesame seeds, which Josh put on everything and now I do, too.

    It was a stunning day of sunny blue skies–no garbage bag poncho needed.

    As Sebastian and I ran across the freshly paved Verrazano Bridge, sunlight glinted off of the Narrows and we had a pristine view of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty. A fireboat shot off celebratory arcs of water, a rainbow hanging in their mist. We were part of an ecstatic mass of over 50,000 runners from around the world. “This is so cool, Sebastian,” I kept saying. “This is just so cool!   

    I usually run with headphones, but there was such wonderful people watching, music, and fanfare that I didn’t miss my music at all for the first half of the marathon. The first stop was at 4th Avenue and 8th Street, where my friends Mackenzie and Jared had come out to cheer with the two little boys they were babysitting. All four of them were holding signs. I hugged them all, including the two little boys, who were not so into hugging a sweaty stranger, but my enthusiasm could not be contained. I met Mackenzie at my first race, the freezing Joe Kleinerman 10K in January 2012, riding the subway up from Crown Heights to Central Park. We’d stayed close even after an injury prevented her from running. In the 4 years since, I’d seen her marry Jared, and now, five months pregnant, she’d stood out in the cold to cheer for me.

    Stephanie and Erwin were at Lafayette and Claremont, Erwin holding up a massive blackboard sign. Right after Josh died, a friend from London, the wonderful Brenda Lyons, connected me to Stephanie, who’d recently moved here from London. Brenda thought we’d make good cycling partners and, likely, that it would be good for me to get out on some rides. While Stephanie’s a far more serious cyclist than I am, we rode to Nyack together. I told her about Josh and she told me that her boyfriend Erwin, an even more serious cyclist and tri-athlete, had been recently diagnosed with PSC. Given the rarity of PSC, it was a startling connection. Even more impressive was Stephanie’s story of how Erwin’s diagnosis had inspired them to uproot their lives and take huge career risks to move to New York. We’ve had wonderful adventures and conversations ever since. We were so worried about not finding each other that when we did, we went in for a double hug. Stephanie and Erwin not only cheered me on, but took me out for a celebratory dinner. Stephanie and I laughed about how our hug felt like we’d crossed an ocean to find each other. All of my marathon hugs felt like that. There was–again–that heightened sense of connection that I felt in the wake of Josh’s death.

    The awesome CHRC cheering squad was at Mile 9.

    They speed-inked personalized signs when they saw Sebastian and I approaching on their marathon apps, showered us with cheers and high-fives, and captured our dorky euphoria on film.

    Jason, Josh’s best friend, whom I’d cried with when Josh was dying and stayed close to after he was gone, popped up out of nowhere on Bedford Avenue. Jason hadn’t told me he was coming and it was a miracle that he found me. Especially, he pointed out later, as I was wearing “all black with a strip of masking tape.” An artist good at making things, he said, “Next year, I’m making your name tag.” I hugged Jason, the best surprise and Where’s Waldo Winner of the marathon, and then Sebastian and I were off.

    My mom, stepdad, and sister were at Mile 12.

    My mom and stepdad flew in from South Texas, my sister from London, to spend the weekend carb-loading with me and to embarrass me with signs like, “Run Brookster the Hipster”. Sebastian and I posed holding a poster that read, “Brooke is leaving Trump behind and going NASTY!” Sebastian, in his saintliness, waited for probably 5 minutes while my mom got a stranger to take multiple mother-daughter pictures. My sister, who’d sailed through last year’s marathon, guided my parents around Brooklyn and Manhattan, to meet me at Miles 12 and 25. My stepdad has Alzheimer’s and it was a lot for him to run around the city like that. My sister took a red-eye back to London that night and had to work the next morning.

    Sebastian doing all of the pacing while I rode in the sidecar, blowing kisses at the crowds, worked out great for me until Mile 18 when a bathroom stop became immediately mandatory. Having PSC means having stomach problems. It can mean a lot more debilitating things, but I’ve been very lucky. “Keep going–good luck!” I called to Sebastian as I frantically climbed over the barricade and ran into Le Pain Quotidien. My legs were shaky, but spectators helped me over the fence. A policeman waiting in line for the bathroom let me go first. Until this point, Sebastian and I had smoothly hit or beat our goal of a 10-minute mile. Even with all of my hugging delays, Sebastian would continue on to a brilliant finish, beating his previous year’s time and his goal for  this year. I was so proud of him.

    Written by Brooke Shaffner – one of our dear members of Running Royalty and former Marathon Water Wench.

    **Read parts 1 and 2 of Brooke’s Marathon Journey HERE and HERE. Come back and read how Brooke finishes her first marathon tomorrow in the last chapter.**

  • Race Report: Pride Run & Achilles Run

    It was a double header in the last weekend in June!

    On Saturday, June 25, CHRC Women and CHRC Men were out in full force at the 35th Front Runners New York LGBT Pride Run 5M! It was a hot and humid day but runners celebrated the diversity of the LGBT community by wearing rainbow tutus and color-coordinated shirts and shorts! Before the race started, a moment of silence was held to honor the shooting victims in Orlando, FL.

    CHRC Women – 5M (2016)

    # Time Date Event CHRC Runner
    1  0:36:14  6/25/2016  Front Runners NY LGBT Pride Run  Jess Setless *PR*
    2  0:42:48  6/25/2016  Front Runners NY LGBT Pride Run  Yael Elmatad
    3  0:43:24  6/25/2016  Front Runners NY LGBT Pride Run  Rachael Wyant *PR*
    4  0:43:47  6/25/2016  Front Runners NY LGBT Pride Run  Elizabeth Sullivan *PR*
    5  0:50:25  6/25/2016  Front Runners NY LGBT Pride Run  Kaitlyn Kociela

    CHRC Men – 5M (2016)

    # Time Date Event CHRC Runner
    1 0:34:00 6/25/2016 Front Runners NY LGBT Pride Run Gideon Bautista *PR*
    2 0:36:03 6/25/2016 Front Runners NY LGBT Pride Run Spencer McCormick *PR*
    3 0:36:13 6/25/2016 Front Runners NY LGBT Pride Run Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste *PR*
    4 0:37:09 6/25/2016 Front Runners NY LGBT Pride Run David Gibbons *PR*
    5 0:44:44 6/25/2016 Front Runners NY LGBT Pride Run Nick Collins *PR*

    Runners of all abilities (including handcyclists, wheelchair racers, and walkers) participated in the 14th Achilles Hope & Possibility 4 mile race on June 26. It was a hot Sunday -and with a staggered start you either loved it or hated it- but every finisher earned a medal!

    CHRC Women – 4M (2016)

    # Time Date Event CHRC Runner
    1 0:28:00 6/5/2016 Retro Run 4M Stephanie Butikis
    2 0:28:05 6/5/2016 Retro Run 4M Kay Naito
    3 0:28:13 6/26/2016 Achilles Hope & Possibility Jess Setless *PR*
    4 0:29:20 4/24/2016 Run as One 4M Monica Merlis
    5 0:31:12 1/9/2016 City Parks Foundation Run for the Parks Jess Setless

    CHRC Men – 4M (2016)

    # Time Date Event CHRC Runner
    1 0:26:44 6/26/2016 Achilles Hope & Possibility Gideon Bautista *PR*
    2 0:27:06 6/26/2016 Achilles Hope & Possibility Michael Gelberg *PR*
    3 0:27:36 2/7/2016 Gridiron 4M Robert Lynn
    4 0:27:55 6/26/2016 Achilles Hope & Possibility Nigel McGregor *PR*
    5 0:28:03 6/5/2016 Retro Run 4M David Gibbons

    Congrats to all those who PRed!

    Double congrats to Jess Setless and Gideon Bautista for winning the award for “Runner Most Likely to Race A Double Header and Finish with 2 PRs”!

  • Race Report: Retro Run 4M and New York Mini 10k

    It was a groovy Retro Run on Sunday, June 12 despite the severe weather warning! Here’s the skinny: sweatband and tube sock wearing runners ran counter-clockwise around the inner loop of Central Park. Miles splits were called out live and CHRC scored some PRs at this club points race!

    The 45th annual Mini 10k, originally named after the miniskirt, was held on Sunday, June 11 with over 8800 women! Congrats to Yael Elmatad, Jess Setless, and Celia Dillon who repped CHRC Women at the race. The race started along the exterior of Central Park, near Columbus Circle, then clockwise around the full loop.

    Congrats also goes to:

    • Peter Meegan for finishing #1 in AG and #9 overall at Provincetown 10k!
    • Gideon Bautista for finishing #5 in AG at the Walkway Marathon!

    CHRC Women – Top 5 – 4 Mile (2016)

    # Time Date Event CHRC Runner
    1 0:28:00 6/5/2016 Retro Run 4M Stephanie Butikis *PR*
    2 0:28:05 6/5/2016 Retro Run 4M Kay Naito
    3 0:29:20 4/24/2016 Run as One 4M Monica Merlis
    4 0:31:12 1/9/2016 City Parks Foundation Run for the Parks Jess Setless
    5 0:32:41 6/5/2016 Retro Run 4M Elizabeth Chen *PR*


    CHRC Mens – Top 5 – 4 Mile (2016)

    # Time Date Event CHRC Runner
    1 0:27:36 2/7/2016 Gridiron 4M Robert Lynn
    2 0:28:03 6/5/2016 Retro Run 4M David Gibbons *PR*
    3 0:28:08 2/21/2016 Al Gordon 4M Nigel McGregor
    4 0:28:09 6/5/2016 Retro Run 4M Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste *PR*
    5 0:30:23 4/24/2016 Run as One Reed Edwards



    The next club point races are Queens 10k, and the Pride Run 5M! Both are sold out but the Team Champions 5M (Women) and Team Champions 5M (Men) is still available; sign up and rep CHRC in this exclusive team only event!

  • Race Report: Run as One 4M & Japan Run 4M

    Spring has sprung and it was beautiful on Sunday, April 24th in Central Park! Over 8000 runners participated in Run as One to raise awareness of lung cancer: the leading cancer kill in both men and women in the U.S. and the most common cancer worldwide.¹


    Unfortunately, BABYMETAL was not part of Japan Day.

    But it was rainy Sunday, May 8 during the four mile Japan Run. The race was the opening event for the 10th annual Japan Day @ Central Park festival which celebrates the Japanese community in New York and the cultural connections between Japan and the United States.


    Congrats to Nigel McGregor, Monica Merlis, Reed Edwards, Sunny Kasabwala, Nick Collins, John Bedard, Wei Wang, Katie Petereson, and Anya Javadi for repping #CHRCWomen and #CHRCMen during these races! Here are the Top 5 in 2016:

    #CHRCWomen 4 miles

    # Time Date Event CHRC Runner
    1 0:29:20 4/24/2016 Run as One 4M Monica Merlis
    2 0:31:12 1/9/2016 City Parks Foundation Run for the Parks Jess Setless
    3 0:33:10 1/9/2016 Al Gordon 4M Rachael Wyant
    4 0:33:32 3/26/2016 Al Gordon 4M Laura Zukaite
    5 0:33:46 1/9/2016 City Parks Foundation Run for the Parks Wei Wang

    #CHRCMen 4 miles

    # Time Date Event CHRC Runner
    1 0:27:36 2/7/2016 Gridiron 4M Robert Lynn
    2 0:28:08 2/21/2016 Al Gordon 4M Nigel McGregor
    3 0:29:59 4/10/2016 City Parks Foundation Run for the Parks Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste
    4 0:30:23 4/24/2016 Run as One 4M Reed Edwards *PR*
    5 0:30:34 2/21/2016 Al Gordon 4M Nathon Turner

    Honorable mentions:

    • David Johnson, a Masters runner, finished with a PR at the NYCRUNS Central Park 10k!
    • Tim Crossley finished the Providence Marathon!
    • Stephanie Butikis finished the Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon with a Boston Qualifying time!


    Spring Summer ahead by registering for the NYRR club-only Team Championship 5M for both women and men. (And while you’re at it, sign up for the June club points races: NYRR Retro Run 4M and the Front Runner NY LGBT Pride 5M).

    If you’re running the Airbnb Brooklyn Half, be on the look out for an email with details about the pre-race party!

  • Race Report: MORE/SHAPE Women’s Half-Marathon & Boston Marathon

    What great running weather we’re having!

    Danielle Wheeler, Susan Matthews, and Rachel Wyant, took advantage of the clear skies on Sunday, April 17 and repped #CHRCWomen at the 13th anniversary of the MORE/SHAPE Women’s Half-Marathon. With two full loops in Central Park, it was also plenty of hill repeats!

    In other hill news, on Monday, April 18, Kay Naito repped #CHRC at the most prestigious marathon in the world: Boston Marathon! Pushing past Heartbreak Hill, this marks Kay’s first Boston Marathon finish and makes her the first CHRC member to finish in the 120 years of the Boston Marathon!

    Congratulations to everyone! Here are the Top 5 #CHRCWomen in the half marathon and full marathon categories:

    Half Marathon

    # Time Date Event CHRC Runner
    1 1:44:21 3/20/2016 United Airlines NYC Half 2016 Elly Kuhlman
    2 1:47:40 3/20/2016 United Airlines NYC Half 2016 Jess Setless
    3 1:49:58 4/17/2016 More/Shape Women’s Half Marathon Danielle Wheeler
    4 1:54:57 4/17/2016 More/Shape Women’s Half Marathon Susan Matthews *PR*
    5 1:58:53 4/17/2016 More/Shape Women’s Half Marathon Rachael Wyant *PR*



    # Time Date Event CHRC Runner
    1 3:29:48 4/18/2016 Boston Marathon Kay Naito
    2 4:44:35 3/19/2016 Savin Rock Marathon Kaitlyn Kociela

    Don’t see your name but finished a race this weekend? Make sure to submit it!

  • Race Report: Run for the Parks (4M)

    It was a sunny and windy Sunday, April 10 in the 4 mile inner loop of Central Park. But that didn’t stop 6,900+ runners from racing at the City Park Foundations Run for the Parks!

    Although it wasn’t a Club Points race, congratulations to Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste, Jess Setless, Sunny Kasabwala, David Gibbons, Nick Collins, Wei Wang, and Yosef Bergovoy for representing #CHRC. Some members even finished with a PR!

    Here are the Top 5 in the 4 mile distance for 2016:

    CHRC Women (4M)

    # Time Date Event CHRC Runner
    1 0:29:46 3/26/2016 Al Gordon 4M Monica Merlis
    2 0:31:12 1/9/2016 City Parks Foundation Run for the Parks Jess Setless *PR*
    3 0:33:10 1/9/2016 Al Gordon 4M Rachael Wyant
    4 0:33:32 3/26/2016 Al Gordon 4M Laura Zukaite
    5 0:33:46 1/9/2016 City Parks Foundation Run for the Parks Wei Wang *PR*

    CHRC Men (4M)

    # Time Date Event CHRC Runner
    1 0:27:36 2/7/2016 Gridiron 4M Robert Lynn
    2 0:28:08 2/21/2016 Al Gordon 4M Nigel McGregor
    3 0:29:59 4/10/2016 City Parks Foundation Run for the Parks Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste *PR*
    4 0:30:34 2/21/2016 Al Gordon 4M Nathon Turner
    5 0:32:30 4/10/2016 City Parks Foundation Run for the Parks Sunny Kasabwala *PR*

    Be sure to check out the Top 5 CHRC Women and CHRC Men for other distances. There’s still time to place yourself among the ranks! (Submit your results on the Racing page).


    The next and third Club Points race is the popular Airbnb Brooklyn Half which sold out in less than an hour!

    Don’t forget to pick up your #CHRC gear at the Meet’N’Greet!

  • New Run schedule

    Signed up for that race? Added yourself to the CHRC roster?

    Congratulations! You’ve COMMITTED!

    Commitment issues no more. You and your running are in a relationship (way before Valentines Day, well done) and the CHRC community is here to support your relationship. Many of us know too well the challenges and the euphoric times that come with this territory. We trust that you know yourself best when it comes to whether the relationship is going to work but no matter what, we encourage you to use our Weekly Group Runs, Social Events and Race Rallying to get the most enjoyment out of Running. We hope you are together for life!

    NEW GROUP RUN SCHEDULE **Schedule is subject to change. Please utilize our Calendar for updates**

    MONDAY: 6:30a.m. Newbie Run

    THURSDAY: 6:30a.m. Run & Some

    SATURDAY: 10:00a.m. Long One

    SUNDAY: 11:00a.m. Trail Run

    We have received requests for evening runs, speed and hill workouts. Unfortunately, at this time we do not have run leaders that are able to support these runs on a regularly scheduled basis. Pop-up Runs that cater to these requests by run leaders will be advertised on the Calendar and on the Facebook Group. If you are interested in leading runs, please contact us at runningroyalty01@gmail.com.

    Some resources that might assist you:

    NYRR Group Training  – Tuesday & Thursday mornings and evenings

    Hook & Honerkamp – Tuesday mornings



    The club points races through NYRR have been voted on and finalized by the Club Council this week! We encourage members to participate in races throughout the year. Please refer to our Racing page for more information.

    In upcoming weeks we will have informational events for you to learn about racing as part of CHRC. Stay Tuned!

  • It’s off to the Races!

    January! This is a good time of year to not only soak in some winter reading, Netflix watching, and hot toddies but also some deep thinking about what lies ahead for you this year in running.

    Have you set your sights on goals and plans to get you moving toward these important goals? Whatever it is you’re working toward, remember also to identify what it is that motivates you! This is going to keep you going through the dark winter runs, the cold, the last 200m of that run.

    CHRC encourages members to sign up for races as goals for fitness and community. We are looking forward to participating and supporting members in:




    • January 8-11: Leatherman’s Loop 2016. Entry by lottery. We are grouped under #CHRCTrails. COMPLETE! Hope you’ll be running with us this April. Remember to register to finalize your entry!
    • January 21: TCS NYC Marathon 2016. Apply for entry by lottery or claim your guaranteed entry
    • January 28: AirBnB Brooklyn Half Marathon 2016. Registration opens at noon and is expected to sell-out in hours. #CHRCWomen and #CHRCMen – this is a Club points race!


    january royal court

    Too many choices and not sure where to start? Come and talk to us. Don’t miss our first event of the year!

    January’s Royal Court is on Monday the 25th 7:30-9:30pm. Find our friendly members at 99Rogers. Come join us for an evening of beverages and merriment!

  • Dear 2016. We’re coming for you!

    The year end can feel like a time when something grand should happen; something to sum up the miles we ran, the people we touched, the changes we achieved, in a climax of awesome lights and music.

    Then there are those years when we can’t wait for the old calendar to be pulled down and the new page to be put up: blank and pristine, free of the messes from the past year, the dreadful days and injuries that somehow we got through.

    The start of 2016 comes like a mile-marker, not a finish line or a starting clock.

    start clockWe’ll swiftly run through it reflecting on how far we’ve come and looking at what’s ahead. With determination, friends and loved ones, and with the strength of our hard-working legs (tired and strained as they might be), we’ll take a sip of water (or champagne) to savor the sweet joy of the moment… before we continue on.


    Congratulations to all #CHRC members who completed personal bests, Boston qualifying times, first 5Ks, first marathons, first run with a group, 9+1s, 1000th mile, 1000th squat, etc. Congrats to #CHRCWomen who finished the year tied for 13th in the Open Women B among NYC clubs in their inaugural year!

    From the Royal Council at CHRC, THANK YOU for being with us in 2015 and we look forward to another wonderful year of friendship and miles. You are Royalty!!

    Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 7.22.06 AM


    **If you are interested in being a member of the Royal Council, we want to hear from you! Our new year “retreat” is on January 10th. Hope you will join us!**



  • The In-between Period

    Whether it was for personal fitness or getting to a big fall race, for many of us, our summer training cycle is complete. We’ve rewarded ourselves, celebrated… Enter the dreaded/beloved ~~ In-Between Period ~~
    Maybe you start questioning before each run – do I want to run OR do I want to ______ (snooze, eat this donut, watch another episode, etc.) What do YOU choose?
    Frozen giphy
    We have some suggestions for our Royal Members:

    1) Come and join us at our upcoming events.

    The end of the calendar year brings opportunities to get together with friends and family, eat comforting meals and drink merrily. Our every-growing running family is no different!
    •  November Royal Court. On Monday November 23rd @99 Rogers from 7:30pm onwards. Come let’s talk of winter runs & treat our parched lips to some delicious brew! RSVP on Facebook!
    • 2nd Annual Royal Winter Runderland. On Friday December 18th. Celebrate the end of an awesome year of CHRC running. RSVP on Facebook!

    2) Give back to Running.

    #CHRCWomen supports the mission of Girls on the Run. On Sunday December 6th on Randall’s Island, Join us as a Runner (accompanying 3rd-5th graders complete their first 5k!) or Volunteer for this incredibly special day for the girls in our program! Register now at www.gotrnyc.org/5kinfo.

    3) Running and Racing in the winter is FUN! pie and cocoa

    Not only do you get bragging rights and look like a badass, you get to recover with hot cocoa and pie. What else could you want?
    #CHRCWomen and #CHRCMen, the final NYRR Club Points Race of the year still has space for you! Sign up and run with us at the Ted Corbitt 15K on Saturday December 12. Let’s end the year with a bang!

    Whatever you choose to do, we’re here for you. 

    Let’s chat about it while we go for a casual fun run!