For 20 years, Director of Sales, James Fox has successfully lead a running team at the Roger Smith Hotel. The purpose of building a community for our employees, clients and hotel guests presented an opportunity to come together for a reenergizing and motivating sport. We caught up with James Fox for some insights on how he became the leader of the pack.
RS: How did you become involved with the running team and how did it get started?
JF: In the 1990s I hired a personal trainer to get in shape. He was a runner and wrote a book on how to prepare for a marathon and running. It was then that I ran my first race with the New York Road Runners in Central Park. It was 3 miles, I enjoyed the race and signed up for more. At that time it was very difficult to get into the New York City Marathon but I discovered that if you became a member of NYRR and ran 9 races in a calendar year you were guaranteed admission. As I found other people interested in running the marathon, one being the daughter of the hotel President, I created the Roger Smith Team with the mission to run those 9 races and get people into a NYC Marathon.
When did you start running? I started running around 1998
Have you ever ran a marathon? No, although my initial intention was to run a marathon and I trained for it, sadly it never happened.
What’s on your mind while you run? Many things; for me, it is a great time to think creatively about any issues on my mind and at the same time I am always trying to find someone to keep pace with or pass.
What does the team do post-race? The team is made up of all level runners, so we wait for the last of our team to finish. Then we all go to brunch and get to know each other. As some runners have families, their partners and children join us for the food part
Can anyone join the RS running team? To run with the Roger Smith Team you must be either: 1. An employee of the Roger Smith Hotel; 2. A client of the Roger Smith Hotel; 3. A guest of the hotel; 4. A friend or family of a team runner.
How do you approach running long distances? The races we run are no more than 6 miles, there are NYRR races that are longer, but we do not run them as a team.
How does running make you feel during and after? Immediately after the race I always feel energized., though following the team breakfast I do get sleepy and will often take an afternoon nap. All our races are in the morning, so we get up very early.
Tell us about any upcoming races. In August we are running the Team Championship 5 Miler, it is the only race that is restricted to teams and has a separate race for men and women. You must be a member of the NYRR and have been on a team for at least two months to run. There are two other planned races for 2017: Oct 29 – Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff (5 miles) and Nov 19 – Race to Deliver (4 miles).