The Citymeals Blog

Food for Though

Race to the Finish Line

In just 3 days, Team Citymeals runners take their mark at the New York City Marathon. For several months, participants Dan Bartfeld, Beverly Bartfeld, Adam Davis and Charlotte Sullivan have been fundraising and training to benefit New York City's homebound elderly. We spoke with Dan, a Citymeals Board Member, and his wife Beverly about their running careers and involvement with Team Citymeals.

How long have you both been running?

Beverly: As I kid I started running – but never very seriously. When I was 13, I ran in the Leggs Mini Marathon which was a 10K and all of the runners in the race were invited to go to Studio 54 the evening after the race. That was an interesting experience! Since then, I have run on and off. In 1999, I trained to run the New York City Marathon. After I finished that marathon I vowed not to run again for a long time.

Dan: I have done two other marathons, in 1999 and 2004, and thought that it would be fun (in a painful, but exciting way) to try it again 14 years later. It is great to have my kids experience watching all the training and effort that goes into the race. I look forward to them enjoying race day and the excitement that goes along with it.

Board Member Dan (center) and Beverly (left) at the New York City Marathon in 1999.

What was it like running the marathon together in 1999?

Dan: We trained together in 1999, but didn’t race together. I found that running solo during the race was easier because I could just focus on the crowds and the experience. This time, we keep the same training schedule on a daily basis and push each other to run. But we don’t start and finish together. When we pass each other we high-five or hold hands for a few seconds and laugh.

Beverly: Running the marathon in 1999 was a great experience. The training was really hard – but marathon day was one of the best experiences! I ran with a good friend of mine, and we talked the whole time we ran.

How are you training for the marathon this time?

Dan: New York Road Runners club provides three different training schedules. We chose the easiest of them, which is still very hard and has us doing practice runs of 20, 18, 16 miles and so on. It is amazing when you start out a four miler seems like forever and now we simply knock out 10 or 12 miles without any planning at all.

Why are you running this year with Team Citymeals?

Dan: Running with Team Citymeals is a great way to expand the reach of the organization. So many people now are more informed about Citymeals because they ask me about the marathon and who we are raising money for.

You’ve been on the Board since 2013. Why do you believe so strongly in the mission?

Dan: The fastest growing segment of the New York City population is the elderly and it has always shocked me that in every building in my Upper West Side neighborhood, there is an entire segment of the population who is hidden indoors and literally cannot get out to get their meals. The city provides meals during the week, but without Citymeals, there would be thousands of elderly people each weekend, holiday and during emergencies who would be without food or any human interaction. Citymeals provides an invaluable service to the homebound elderly.

Are there older people who have played an influential role in your life?

Dan: Like most people, I have seen loved ones become increasingly frail in their later years. Thankfully, we have had family and resources around to help them live comfortably. But, there are so many people in our city who are less fortunate. It is so important to extend our compassion and help them live with dignity. 

To Team Citymeals and all other participants in this year's New York City Marathon – good luck!

Food For Thought