Meet Francesco Presutti: Nominee for Flyer of the Year
I joined the Flyers in August 2012 to participate in the 20-mile run in the Palisades. It was one of the best decisions of my life. I fell in love with the Palisades run and, in the process, I discovered New York’s friendliest running club. I have been a Flyer ever since. Even when my diplomatic assignment came to an end and I moved back to Brussels for four years, from 2017 to 2021, I kept sporting my Flyer bright red singlet at races across the world, whether in Berlin or in Tokyo, in Florence or in Lille.
11 years have passed since my first run in the Palisades, and the Flyers have become my running family. One of my most enjoyable experiences as a Flyer was leading the Saturday morning group run. My goal is soon to launch a new weekly morning group run – stay tuned! I also had a great time pacing long-training runs, and volunteering at fluid stations, including once, in 2013, at the popular Flyers-led NYCM 18-mile Gel Zone – that was the only year since 2005 when I could not run the NYCM because of an injury. Finally, my Flyer friends know how much I love sharing my views and my advice about running, which is why in 2017 I was appointed to serve briefly as Advisory Board member until I left New York for Brussels.
In April 2022, less than a year after relocating back to New York – this time for good – I took up writing NYRR race reports for the Flyers blog. My reports understandably highlight the top performers among the Flyers. But our running club is less about winning and more about sharing the joy of running and creating a positive team spirit. In my reports I attempt to acknowledge and encourage all runners regarding of their different abilities, just as I do in my new job as NYRR running coach. Setting a PR, finishing a first marathon, or even only running a first race, are all milestones that call for a big celebration. By motivating and inspiring less experienced runners – or even first-time runners – we can win their heart forever and turn them into lifelong runners. Because running is for life!
This bio note is my way to say how much I am honored to be nominated Flyer of the Year. Thank you!
Meet Lisa Konorty: Nominee for Flyer of the Year
It’s such an honor to be nominated as Flyer of the Year – thank you.
I joined the Flyers in 2019 and am so grateful to be a member of the best darn running club in NYC! I have run for 47 years straight, both competitively and recreationally. I joined the Flyers for the camaraderie and fun.
If you don’t know me, I am the Apparel Coordinator for the Flyers and have been since 2019. As Flyer Apparel Coordinator, I work with New Balance in setting up an online Flyers Store 3-4 times per year. I am also the co-director of the Flyers Instagram account. Managing the Flyers Instagram is a super fun way to promote our club with posts about Flyers events, achievements, and stories. Additionally, I volunteer every year at the Flyers NYC Marathon mile 18 gel station, which is almost as rewarding as running the marathon! And this past year, I was one of the newest members of the Flyers Gala party committee, which I plan to continue for 2024!
It's been so rewarding volunteering with the Flyers and I look forward to another year of involvement - Go Flyers!
Meet David Gaines: Nominee for Flyer of the Year
I’m honored to have been nominated for this award. If you stick around long enough, you amass a resume.
I joined the Flyers in 2005 after participating in a NYRR Long Training Run that was led by the Flyers. The rest is history. Over time, I have served for 2 terms on the Executive Board as Treasurer and again when the Treasurer resigned during COVID. I’ve been on Anniversary Party committees, the Awards Committee over the years (which I chaired this year), tortured my teammates as 60+ Men’s Team Captain for a bunch of years, and have volunteered for everything at least once. I founded the long-gone Monday Night Downtown Run in 2007, aided by our late friend Nick Jesdanun. We’d go out the first Monday of the month and I still have core friendships from that greatest of groups. Today, I assist Ed Altman in leading the Saturday Morning Group Run and I track every Flyer’s racing points for our Club Points Award competition. I’ve trained with MTP and SpeedPass countless times.
I became a regular runner in 1982 (yes) and began running NYRR races in 1991. Now, almost 300 races and 35 marathons in with over 34,000 miles logged (lotta spreadsheets going on), I feel fortunate to still be engaged in this wonderful sport that I always describe as my hobby and a wonderful social experience.
In recent years, my ability to attend various Flyer functions has diminished due to other responsibilities, but anything I am able to do with the Flyers offers a chance to receive and spread good cheer. I don’t know how one becomes a Flyer of the Year and I doubt that I am that, but anything I have given I have received back in spades.
Meet Brad Goz: Nominee for Flyer of the Year
Flyer of the Year! It’s a privilege and an honor to be nominated (again!) but, frankly, I can’t help but feel a number people are more deserving. So…this is a great opportunity to give them the credit they deserve.
We can start with the Board. Every member has contributed well beyond the calling of their role and they have fulfilled those roles exceptionally well.
John McCreesh has been a steady hand at the helm, conveying leadership with low-key command. Marc and Jeff have kept books and records immaculately clean while ensuring we stay in the black and in line with often challenging legal requirements. Like John, they have been a shining presence at almost every race and Flyer event.
Thanks, also, to Wendy for huge effort and great success leading member outreach and to Melissa Slobin for heart-warming assistance in communications and social media.
We have team captains and incredible volunteers and members who bring excitement to every event they join. Hiromi Nobata has been especially effective in coordinating volunteers while serving as a new MTP coach. There’s someone missing…
Oh! Our Vice President, Deborah Saat. Yes, Deb has worked consistently hard to fulfill her VEEP responsibilities. But, many people don’t know how hard she has worked behind the scenes to achieve great turnouts and raucous results for many, many events, especially Three Bridges and Last Ten. Most recently, Deb introduced Flyers to Back on My Feet, a group dedicated to using the power of running to heal those most in need. It’s an important group and Deb’s initiative stands out.
On a personal level, I’m still grateful for Deb’s steadfast attention at TWO major races where I ran into trouble. I have to imagine she’s done much the same for others. Sorry, Brad, Board Member or otherwise, Deb gets your vote for FOTY.
Ouch, there’s more. It was deeply gratifying to see many people I didn’t recognize at our Medal Wednesday event. Kudos to our MTP and Speedpass teams for building bonds among new members. Thanks, too, to Dave Kleckner, Laila Saleh, Kristin Siegel, Guy Simoneau and all the Thursday night runners for creating a fun and highly successful magnet for new Flyers.
But, as that literary titan Robert Crumb eloquently expressed it: Mr Natural, what does it all mean?!! Our thriving team means a warm, supportive home to find friendship, fitness and achieve one’s running and personal goals. A stimulating environment to expand one’s physical and emotional boundaries. A place for contribution and for building bridges to other runners and communities and for making the world a better place.
In the year ahead I hope to contribute more to our team and its members through exciting running adventures and joint events with our fellow teams to foster even greater understanding among Flyers and other communities, running and not running. Perhaps, 12 months from now, I just might be worthy of Flyer of the Year.