Jenny Simpson Completes NYRR Virtual For the Kids 5K in Central Park
Fresh off winning the women’s 3000m at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix on February 10, three-time Olympian and Team New Balance Athlete Jenny Simpson traveled from Boston to New York to run NYRR’s second-ever virtual race and visit with youth runners and their coaches in NYC.
Jenny serves as Ambassador & Special Advisor to Rising New York Road Runners, NYRR’s free youth fitness program. In this role, she acts as a mentor to program participants, a guide and resource to coaches across the country, and an advocate for the critical role that running, fitness, and physical education play in the lives of youth.
On Monday, she visited a group of Rising New York Road Runners, including those from Manhattan’s P.S. 452 and M.S. 245, The Computer School, at the NYRR RUNCENTER, where she told the students her running story. Just like many of the kids sitting in front of her, Jenny fell in love with running by playing tag on a public school playground, and was encouraged by P.E. teachers to develop her skills.
“The people I looked up to the most were my coaches—my P.E. teachers in elementary school, middle school, and high school,” she said. “They would come out and do a lot of the running with us, give us instructions, and tell us the things they thought we were good at. Whatever they thought I could do, I wanted to achieve that.”
On Tuesday, Jenny paid that appreciation forward: She completed the NYRR Virtual For the Kids 5K Benefiting Rising New York Road Runners in Central Park alongside a group of Rising New York Road Runners coaches—educators who do for NYC schoolchildren what Jenny’s coaches did for her growing up.
After the run, the coaches enjoyed a meet-and-greet with Jenny, where they, too, had the opportunity to hear her running story and ask any questions they had about inspiring the next generation of runners.
“After talking to Jenny on the virtual 5K run and hearing her responses to the questions from my students, I am extremely excited about her involvement with Rising New York Road Runners," said Nathan O’Reilly, a physical education teacher at P.S. 452M. "Jenny understands the importance of exercise for our youth and the great opportunities and life lessons that it can provide. Jenny’s dedication to this role and her excitement about it are contagious and inspiring!”
Jenny’s not the only pro athlete taking part in the NYRR Virtual For the Kids 5K Benefiting Rising New York Road Runners. Running legend and NYRR Team for Kids Ambassador Meb Keflezighi will complete the 3.1-miler on Friday—and you can join him, wherever you live.
It’s simple—register for the race, encourage your friends and family members to join you, then log and record your miles using Strava any time between now and February 19. Proceeds from the event will help give kids in NYC and nationwide access to running and motivation to stay active for life.
Still need motivation to get moving? Take it from Jenny—her best piece of advice applies to kids, adults, coaches, and teachers alike: “Don’t think that the only way to be good at running is to be the best in your class, or the best in New York City, or the best in the world. If you love it, and you’re healthy, and you do it in a healthy way, and you do it together, that means you’re good at it.”