Without a doubt, running clubs run this city- we know it, they know it. We wouldn’t be able to have our races without them! That is why we wanted to give them the opportunity to introduce themselves. This week we are continuing the NYCRUNS Club Spotlight series by highlighting the November Project. The NYCRUNS Club Spotlight series will take a look at the diverse running clubs of New York City and celebrate the unique ways that they contribute to fitness and community across all five boroughs.
Dana Donadio is from New York and now living in Harlem, and Billy Henehan is also from New York and living in Brooklyn.
How did you get involved with your running club? What is your role in your club?
We are the new co-captains for the November Project 5-Boro Racing team, which is made up of the competitive running members from the November Project Brooklyn and November Project NYC workout groups. We’re part of the global November Project community, a non-profit organization devoted to grassroots community building through free fitness workouts. While the racing team members are runners, you absolutely don’t need to be a runner to join NP! Billy has been a member since 2015; he really liked the energy and enthusiasm that was abundant at his first NP workout, and anyone who has ever passed one of our cheer stations at races has seen that energy in person for themselves. Dana joined in 2017 and was also hooked by the positive vibes and high-fives–a great way to start the morning!
What is the November Project about?
The NP running team welcomes all runners—from seasoned athletes to newbies—regardless of age, fitness level, background or identity. We value a team where there is room for both competitive racing and more social participation and subscribe to a set of community agreements that fosters respect for individuals, as well as the neighborhoods and parks in which we workout and run. We like to use the phrase “race everything,” but not in a “win at all costs” kind of way. More in the “always strive for your personal best” way. We have a monthly looped course ‘PR Day’ that exemplifies this. Everyone tries to beat their best time, whether it was last month or last year.
Where does your club run? Which is your favorite running route?
There are several ways to run with November Project! Our main workouts are Wednesday morning at 6:28 am in Brooklyn at Fort Greene Park, and in Manhattan at Bethesda Fountain (with a rotating 6:28am Friday morning workout). They combine strength training, HIIT and running elements, usually with a side of shenanigans. Apart from team racing, many members join in weekly runs like Tuesday morning speedwork, Friday morning group runs in Brooklyn and Saturday morning group runs in Central Park. We’ve also had special running events organized by co-leaders – like a Sunrise 6K, and by members- a favorite has been the Ample Hills Ice Cream run led by Jairo Martinez.
How does your club give back?
The NP running team encourages all runners to #justshowup for each other and for the larger community. On course, we’re out there with the same amount of team spirit for every last runner, whether or not they are wearing our logo. Outside of running, NP’s volunteering initiatives have included food drives, sneaker drives and park clean-ups, and we’ve partnered with other local social and fitness groups, such as Back On My Feet, for collaborative workouts.
We know it’s a tough choice but… which NYCRUNS race is your favorite?
There’s definitely an NYCRUNS race for every runner, but the most popular ones in our group have been the Newport Liberty Half Marathon, the Squirrel Stampede, Go Nuts for Donuts and absolutely any Hot Cocoa race. (What can we say, we like snacks!)
Tell us about your group traditions! What is your favorite post-race tradition?
Apart from Remi Chian’s famous scones (again, snacks) our biggest tradition is the spray painted logo. Part of NP’s commitment to 100% #freefitness is that we don’t sell branded club gear. All you need to do is bring your shirt of choice to the workout to get a tag of your own–a fun and inexpensive tradition we all benefit from. It’s what we call #grassrootsgear. Any shirt has the potential to be a November Project shirt, with the right spray paint application. And if there is one thing runners have plenty of, it’s extra race shirts.
We like to mark all of our events with a team photo, of course, followed by a post-run coffee for our group runs and an after party for major races
How can people stay informed about what your running club is doing? (Social media, website, etc.)
The best way to keep up to date with our running club is through our respective workout groups: November Project New York on Facebook or Instagram, and November Project Brooklyn on Facebook or Instagram.
If you are interested in being featured in the NYCRUNS Club Spotlight Series, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org