Interview with a Runner

Meet Andrew Saunders. He lives in Brooklyn, NY and his apartment looked over the original yellow Hot Bird BBQ sign! Andrew works in finance and recently started his own firm to help hedge funds raise capital.  He is married to his lovely, uber talented wife, Valerie, and they have two kids – Phoebe (10) and Evan (7). Andrew grew up in Wisconsin and is an avid Packer fan. He also PR'd Big Sur Marathon last month beating his previous marathon best by 13 minutes!

When did you start running?
After a few failed gym attempts where I put down the down payment, paid the monthly fee…and never went. I decided to explore this large expanse of green across the street…Prospect Park. I was 39 (now 42) when I started running with any degree of seriousness. It started with a casual conversation with a parent of one of Phoebe’s friends. We met on Saturday morning and 3 miles became 5 miles became 6 miles became a half marathon became a full marathon. Rob and I have run 3 marathons together and have plans for many more.

Who or what inspires you to run?
I am not sure any one person inspired me to run, but having children makes you want to be around as long as possible to enjoy them. It also informed my workout time - I get up early so that when I get home from work I am there for them. Running in the morning provides me access to a very busy city when most people are still asleep and the streets are manageable. New York is all about limiting access and being up with fellow runners it feels like the city is ours.

What is your favorite running route? Why?
In preparation for Big Sur, which is quite hilly, I ran the bridges pretty consistently every morning. Over the Manhattan Bridge, through Chinatown, then back over the Brooklyn Bridge, through Brooklyn Heights and then back along the waterfront on the new Brooklyn Bridge Park. About 6 miles which has just amazing view and very few intersections. Usually the sun is rising as I cross the Brooklyn Bridge and it’s a great way to start the day.

Favorite post-run meal?
Kitchen sink omelet. Basically every vegetable we have in the fridge and a little cheddar cheese.

Best piece of running advice?
No more than 10% mileage increase a week.

Are you running for fun or sport?
Whatever is in between fun and sport probably best decribes my motivation. I am more serious about it than I used to be…to the point where I’ve changed my diet and hired a coach to help my form… but am under no delusion that I am ever going to win anything. I can’t say I am having a lot of fun when I am at the tail end of a marathon. But it feels good afterward.

Who would you love to run with (doesn't have to be a runner)?
Any USA national team soccer player. I have an early case of World Cup Fever.

Favorite way to sweat other than run? 
Playing basketball with my son, Evan.