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Kevin Montalvo of Queens Distance Runners

“When I worked for Paragon Sports and New York Road Runners, a lot of folks knew me for having a lot of energy and being able to get up at 5 a.m. and bringing that same level of passion. In high school, I was a loner. I was the kind of person that hoped the train would be absolutely packed so I could just walk four miles. It was in those walks that essentially became a blueprint for what ended up happening to me. I would walk through businesses and civic areas. I realized there’s more to meet. I ended up meeting one of my good friends Domenico Sacramone (the owner of @sacsplace). They’ve been a sponsor of Queens Distance Runners and I met them when I was 18 years old. I would spend so much time there after school. He would jest that I should go back to class. The pizza was unbelievable and I’d joke saying they should serve it as cafeteria food. Like that, I ended up meeting a lot of different business owners through these walks. They’d say maybe I should go back to school but I ended up hanging out so much across different fun spots in the borough. When I started Queens Distance Runners, it was on that similar premise. There’s a lot of really fun areas that people don’t really go to because they go home, work or school and take the same mode of transportation before going back. One of my favorite routes to run is from Woodhaven Boulevard and down to the Rockaways. If you were to do it by train, you’d have to take the E train into Manhattan then take the A train. That’s a one hour and 45-minute train ride, which is absolutely insane. If you were to run it, you’d just run down Woodhaven Boulevard and right into the Rockaways. There’s a lot of great businesses there starving for business.”

Kevin Montalvo would be the first to describe himself as “just a kid from Queens.” Those in the running community know him as the Queens guy. Those in the Queens community know him as the running guy. Kevin is the founder and team captain of Queens Distance Runners and the race director of the Queens Marathon.

He grew up in an Ecuadorian family in Queens and has spent much of his life in the borough. One of the biggest things that has kept Kevin in Queens is the importance of diversity in Queens. His team reflects that and has more than 1,000 members in all parts of the borough from Astoria to Jackson Heights to Forest Hills to Jamaica and beyond.

In addition to his work as a team captain, he is the race director of the Queens Marathon. Through his race organizing, he maintains relationships and works closely with civic, non-profit and city organizations to make the race a reality. He also ties in the community by involving local businesses and sponsors.

The 2020 Queens Marathon and Queens Distance Runners Half will be held on March 22 at 8 a.m. Listeners of this podcast have been granted a special offer from Kevin and can sign up using promo code runnersofnyc for 15% off their race entry. (Register here)

This is Runners of NYC. A biweekly podcast from CITIUS MAG. Hosts Leigh Anne Sharek and Chris Chavez look to bring you many of the untold stories behind luminaries and legends that make up New York City’s running culture. You can catch the latest episode of the podcast on iTunes so subscribe and leave a five-star review. We are also on Spotify!

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