Carly Graf: “Our Future Lies with the Younger Generation”
Each week, we highlight a unique NYRR Team for Kids runner and talk training runs, race-day rituals, and recovery. This week, Carly Graf reflects on all of the beautiful places that running has taken her—and why it’s so important to pass her love for health and fitness on to the next generation of runners.
What excites you most about running the TCS New York City Marathon with NYRR Team for Kids?
Returning to NYC to run through an amazing city with inspiring runners as teammates.
Where is your favorite place to run and why?
I've been very spoiled in my running life: I’ve been blessed with pretty fantastic cities and routes as my "normal." My favorite urban run of all time is in Washington D.C. starting at the front gates of Georgetown (my alma mater), running to the capital building through the national mall, and then back. I'm a total history and politics nerd so it feels like I'm reliving history in some way. But I credit Central Park with my return to racing, so finishing the marathon there will be truly special. And, now that I live in Santa Fe, I'm in love with the trails. There's nothing like a sunrise summit ending with panoramic mountain vistas beneath you after you've climbed close to 2,000 feet.
If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
For a longer, slower run, I'm all about Gregory Alan Isakov. He's a former poet and travel writer turned singer-songwriter, so his lyrics are captivating, inspiring, and cathartic all at once. For my tempo runs, I crank Fleetwood Mac's "Silver Springs" and "Chain". Go ahead, call me old-school.
What is your favorite post-run meal?
A big ol’ whole-wheat everything bagel with scrambled eggs, cheddar, and extra avocado. Plus an iced coffee.
How did your relationship with running begin and why?
My mom! She's a rock-star marathon runner herself, and she first introduced me to the sport so that we'd be able to do something together when I was in middle school. I was hooked and forever have her to thank for getting me started.
Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions?
I have to have the same exact oatmeal (Bob's Red Mill Blueberry and Hazelnut) with peanut butter and a banana. I'll bring it with me wherever I go for a race.
Why did you choose to run with Team for Kids?
I think that our future lies with the younger generation. As a mid-20-something, I don't consider myself too far from these kids in a lot of ways. How we teach youth to look at life, the values we instill, the activities we encourage, and the things we expose them to have a direct impact on their ability to not only reach their full potential and live a fruitful life, but also on the way that they change our society and culture.
Tell us a little more about yourself.
I'm a lover of all things outdoors—running, hiking, biking, all of it. That love of outdoors led me to my current job at Outside magazine in Santa Fe, NM where I write and edit all things fitness, health, nutrition, adventure, and outdoors. It's amazing. I went to Georgetown (Hoya Saxa!), where I geeked out on international politics and international development for four years, studied abroad for six months in Buenos Aires, and met some of the most incredible humans I'll ever have the pleasure of knowing. I then traveled Southeast Asia, moved to NYC, where I worked at Shape magazine, and got my city fix before heading to New Mexico. I'm fortunate to have wonderful family and friends who have supported me in my marathon journey (I ran Boston this past April) and who will be turning out to support me as well as all other Team for Kids runners during this year's NYC race!
To learn more about NYRR Team for Kids, visit runwithtfk.org.