READY, SET, GO

Marie Young (left) and Marva Joseph, standing in front of a sign that has 26.2 written on it. They are holding their participant stickers.
Marie Young (left) and Marva Joseph, standing in front of a sign that has 26.2 written on it. They are holding their participant stickers.
Courtesy Marva Joseph and Marie Young

Two Caribbean women are expected to participate in this year’s TCS NYC Marathon this Sunday, Nov. 6.

Marva Joseph, who is from Trinidad and Tobago, is a cyclist who completed the TD Bank Five Borough Bike Tour this year and Marie Young, who is from Haiti and has four adult children are expected on the starting line.

They both now live in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Canarsie, where they met at a gym in the area seven years ago. They like “the fact that it is still multicultural and it’s easily accessible: the local shopping malls, transportation, supermarkets, gyms and most importantly the park, running and cycling routes.”

They began running once they got involved with New York Road Runners (NYRR), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help and inspire people through running.

Marva Joseph (left) and Marie Young during a race, as part of the New York Road Runners (NYRR) Open Run program.
Marva Joseph (left) and Marie Young during a race, as part of the New York Road Runners (NYRR) Open Run program. Courtesy Marva Joseph and Marie Young

“We were influenced when NYRR brought the Open Run program to the Canarsie Park and we became volunteer run captains, as well as seeing the participants running,” said Joseph.

Joseph and Young stated the purpose behind their decision to start running together in marathons is that they train together in the neighborhood and run races together. This is how they became known as the “Canarsie Duo.”

They have both done more than 50 races through the Open Run program. In addition, they ran the TCS New York City marathon in 2018 after volunteering the year before. They will both be running in the NYC marathon again this year.

According to Joseph and Young, preparation for these marathons is challenging because they are following a specific training plan, which includes doing consistent runs. For each one, “the training process is the same, however, the training level changed from beginners to intermediate – weekly mileage increased to build endurance,” Joseph continued.

Other than doing consistent runs, preparing for this marathon has also included eating healthy, getting rest and doing yoga. For Joseph, she had to recover from an injury, and she knew that getting hurt is part of life, so it was easy to accept that at the time and focus on healing.

Marva Joseph (left), and Marie Young in Berlin last September while they were there for a marathon.
Marva Joseph (left), and Marie Young in Berlin last September while they were there for a marathon. Courtesy Marva Joseph and Marie Young

“Although we self-train, we do our Saturday long runs with Team LSF, a running group that meets every Saturday at the entrance of Grand Army Plaza,” they added.

Joseph’s biggest success story with running is “finishing the marathons and being an inspiration to others.” For Young, her biggest success story “was that I finished my first marathon under five hours without being injured.”

Joseph says that her experiences with running have taught her to be more focused and disciplined, while Young says running has taught her that nothing is impossible.

“We are on a journey to become Abbott Marathon World Major Six Star finishers in two years. The challenge for us is that we have to enter a lottery and be selected to accomplish this,” they continued. These marathons take place in New York, Chicago, Boston, Berlin, London and Tokyo and to date they have two stars.

They said their greatest accomplishment has been running their personal best times. Joseph ran her personal best in 2019, while Young ran her personal best in Berlin. Both women ran in Berlin in September last year.

Joseph’s gratitude comes from being able to share her running journey and inspire my friends and family. For Young, it comes from the scenery, being humbled by the spectators cheering, and the support of friends and family.

In addition to working on becoming Abbott Marathon finishers, Joseph and Young are working on their first book, which will be released early next year.

Persons interested in watching the 2022 TCS NYC Marathon can find all information at https://www.nyrr.org/tcsnycmarathon/race-day/watch-the-race.

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