Meet the Herren Project 2018 NYC Marathon Team

2018-09-27T13:17:47+00:00September 26th, 2018|Categories: Latest News, THP Runs|

We Celebrate our 2018 NYC Marathon Team!
You Can Meet Them Here:

Nicole Sbarra

Nicole is incredibly honored and humbled by the opportunity to fulfill her lifelong dream of running her first marathon, and for a cause as important to her as The Herren Project.

“Addiction has extremely deep roots in my personal life. Members of my immediate and extended family have been fighting alcoholism, drug addiction, depression and anxiety since I was a child and it’s taken me my whole life to understand this disease. Last summer, my sister and mother underwent 3-month-long rehabs followed by sober homes and fortunately have been sober since, though I now know they battle their demons every single day. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for my first cousin Charles, who lost his life to a fentanyl overdose last December 2017.”

Nicole is running for The Herren Project in memory of her cousin Charles Rizzo, and in hopes that the donations she raises bring hope for so many others fighting this disease, in addition to support and education for their families and loved ones.

Click here to support Nicole


Glen Harrington

Glen’s inspiration for running the NYC Marathon with THP is his childhood best friend, Michael Panzini, who was laid to rest in 2014. Glen wants to honor his memory and family.

“My goal for this marathon is to raise awareness about addiction and show the world that addicts can and DO RECOVER. I have been in recovery for over 10 years and I know that when people see me running, or hear that I am training for a marathon, they are shocked. For so long I was defined as a heroin addict. Today I am so much more than that. Most of all I am a sober father and husband.

“I chose THP as my charity because I identify so much with Chris Herren’s story of addiction and recovery, also my dad used to take me to watch him when he was playing high school basketball.”

Glen’s go-to song in the final miles of the marathon will be Paint it Black by The Rolling Stones in honor of his father who passed away in March of this year.

Click here to support Glen


Gerry Ryan

As a person in long term recovery since 1996, Gerry is very grateful for the opportunity to support an organization that helps so many people every day effected by addiction. Gerry has been fortunate to have worked at various points in the recovery field and is motivated by the courage and success stories of those who have “recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body.”

“Addiction is a very sneaky and pervasive disease and it is vital to increase the resources open to the person afflicted and their families.”

Click here to support Gerry


Jules Poggiogalle

Jules’ inspiration for running is her dad who was hit and killed 10 years ago by a drug impaired driver while riding his bicycle.

“I am also greatly inspired by my family, especially my mom. She volunteers with various organizations in the community and shares our story in hopes that those listening will be touched to tell others and that those who are struggling will get the support that they need.”

She is also inspired by some of her very close friends and families that have had to navigate the journey of addiction and recovery. Jules’ mantra before every run, and her goal, will be just this: ‘Dear God- Please let my run go well, let my body feel strong and let my mind be at peace. AMEN!’

“I chose to run for The Herren Project because it truly embodies everything I was looking for. I strongly believe in that the stories that make up THP all add up to something amazing and that will make a huge difference. I am so inspired by everyone in this organization and grateful to be a part of this team!”

Jules’ go-to song in the final miles of her marathon will be I Believe In A Thing Called Love by The Darkness.

Click here to support Jules


Megan Denault & Greg Costigan

After having run Boston in 2017 with THP, Megan had the chance to take on New York, however an injury sidelined her until this year. This ended up being serendipitous because she gets to run and train with her fiance, Greg.

Greg, an avid biker and marathoner, was excited to have the chance to run New York for the first time with Megan. They will be running in celebration of Megan’s brother and their family and friends who are struggling with or overcoming addiction.

Click here to support Megan & Greg


Meg Mullins

Meg loves to run because of the way it makes her feel–fit and fearless.

Her goal for NYC this year is to take in the amazing experience, finishing the race, while offering hope and raising awareness that recovery is possible.

“As a child, surviving the secret trauma of a family members’ addiction was not easy. Thanks to The Herren Project, my family is now able to break through the stigma of shame, share empathy and acceptance and seek out effective pathways to rehabilitation that has enabled our loved one to embrace sobriety equipped with mindfulness strategies to live a healthy life in recovery. My heart is full having my mother back, and I too can begin to heal. THP’s running initiative has been a blessing in my life, a supportive and inspiring community reassuring me that I am not alone.”

Meg’s’ go-to song in the final miles of her marathon will be “Lose Yourself” by Eminem.

Click here to support Meg


Carly Taitz

Carly is running in memory of her friend, Jillian, who lost her battle with addiction in 2017.

“I am running to bring awareness to this terrible disease and hope to remove the stigma that surrounds it.”

This is Carly’s first marathon, so I she is just looking forward to crossing the finish line! She chose The Herren Project to further the work of the foundation and in honor of the individuals and the families fighting addiction.

“During our runs for timed miles for softball in college I’d listen to Right Above It by Lil Wayne on repeat, so that’s usually my go-to song when I need to pick up the pace– but any catchy hip hop song usually does the trick!”

Click here to support Carly


Jenna McMahon

Jenna says she’ll never know what it feels like to be an addict.

“Most days, even 9 years later, I’m still trying to sort out what it means just to be the sister of an addict. We had a good, solid childhood. We had hard-working, supportive parents. It’s so hard to understand how his addiction works, but I try. It’s hard to not live in fear all the time, especially when drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death among Americans under 50.

“It’s hard to digest other’s reactions when they find out – the awkward glance down, the look of sympathy. Sometimes, I can see the ‘he’ll never change,’ look in their eyes. When I’m on the subway, I often notice the casual, easy way in which an addict’s worth can be tossed aside and it angers me… because that person is somebody’s son, maybe somebody’s brother.

“Am I furious sometimes? Sad this has happened to our family? Desperate for a solution? Of course. The feeling that consumes me the most, however, is the anxiety of worrying that Jake ever doubts his self-worth. The fear that he might somehow believe that he doesn’t deserve to be loved.

“But my love is unwavering, through recovery and even through relapse. Sometimes he falls. Sometimes he falls really, really hard. But every time he finds the strength to pick himself up, find help, as challenging as that can be, and work tirelessly to maintain his sobriety, I am proud.

“In training and in the marathon, there will be times I’ll want to quit, but then I’ll remind myself that this is not nearly as hard as what he’s been through.

“On Nov. 4, I’ll run 26.2 miles in support of The Herren Project, an organization who seeks to increase awareness on the signs of addiction and bring hope for a better tomorrow, and in honor of my kind, smart, goofy, resilient, talented, compassionate baby brother… my brother who is also an addict.”

Click here to support Jenna


Jamie Ford

Jamie enjoys challenging herself physically and maintaining overall good physical health, especially because she didn’t take care of her body for so long earlier in her life. Running is her favorite way to do that—it helps her clear her head and get in her “me” time, but at the same time, training for and completing races gives her the structure and goals she needs to keep going.

This is Jamie’s first full marathon, and her goal is to finish strong and have fun!

‘I’m running under my own bib via the NYRR lottery and was looking for a way to add meaning to my miles. The Herren Project stuck out for me because of its focus on addiction recovery. Running has been and continues to be a huge part of my own recovery from alcoholism, so I am thrilled for these two huge parts of my life to be able to come together in such a positive way.”

Jamie’s go-to song in the final miles of her marathon will be The Distance, by Cake.

Click here to support Jamie


Laurie McGarvey

Laurie began running after she got sober, 10 years ago. Prior to that she often thought about running a marathon ‘one day’ but putting down that drink was next to impossible. That’s no so, today…
“My reasons for continuing to run involve a strong desire to become the best version of myself while letting others know that they also can put down that drink and pick up a pair of running shoes and just go. It has been a long journey for me, and The Herren Project has allowed me to run for goodness sake.
“On November 4, I will run the NYC marathon on the THP team in honor of those still sick and suffering, for their families and friends, and for those who don’t believe sobriety is possible. My mission in life is that every person feel valued and worthy just because they are alive. I am grateful to be sober and to be able to share my journey so that others may have hope and heal. “
Laurie’s goal is to enjoy every second that she gets to run and to finish with a smile!
“THP has been so instrumental in breaking the stigma around addiction and mental illness these past several years, and to be a part of that, well, it’s just the icing on the cake for me. THP lives its mission…one person…one family at a time…we do recover.”
Laurie’s go-to song in the final miles of her marathon will be Glorious Unfolding.

Click here to support Laurie

We Celebrate our 2018 NYC Marathon Team!
You Can Meet Them Here:

Nicole Sbarra

Nicole is incredibly honored and humbled by the opportunity to fulfill her lifelong dream of running her first marathon, and for a cause as important to her as The Herren Project.

“Addiction has extremely deep roots in my personal life. Members of my immediate and extended family have been fighting alcoholism, drug addiction, depression and anxiety since I was a child and it’s taken me my whole life to understand this disease. Last summer, my sister and mother underwent 3-month-long rehabs followed by sober homes and fortunately have been sober since, though I now know they battle their demons every single day. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for my first cousin Charles, who lost his life to a fentanyl overdose last December 2017.”

Nicole is running for The Herren Project in memory of her cousin Charles Rizzo, and in hopes that the donations she raises bring hope for so many others fighting this disease, in addition to support and education for their families and loved ones.

Click here to support Nicole


Glen Harrington

Glen’s inspiration for running the NYC Marathon with THP is his childhood best friend, Michael Panzini, who was laid to rest in 2014. Glen wants to honor his memory and family.

“My goal for this marathon is to raise awareness about addiction and show the world that addicts can and DO RECOVER. I have been in recovery for over 10 years and I know that when people see me running, or hear that I am training for a marathon, they are shocked. For so long I was defined as a heroin addict. Today I am so much more than that. Most of all I am a sober father and husband.

“I chose THP as my charity because I identify so much with Chris Herren’s story of addiction and recovery, also my dad used to take me to watch him when he was playing high school basketball.”

Glen’s go-to song in the final miles of the marathon will be Paint it Black by The Rolling Stones in honor of his father who passed away in March of this year.

Click here to support Glen


Gerry Ryan

As a person in long term recovery since 1996, Gerry is very grateful for the opportunity to support an organization that helps so many people every day effected by addiction. Gerry has been fortunate to have worked at various points in the recovery field and is motivated by the courage and success stories of those who have “recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body.”

“Addiction is a very sneaky and pervasive disease and it is vital to increase the resources open to the person afflicted and their families.”

Click here to support Gerry


Jules Poggiogalle

Jules’ inspiration for running is her dad who was hit and killed 10 years ago by a drug impaired driver while riding his bicycle.

“I am also greatly inspired by my family, especially my mom. She volunteers with various organizations in the community and shares our story in hopes that those listening will be touched to tell others and that those who are struggling will get the support that they need.”

She is also inspired by some of her very close friends and families that have had to navigate the journey of addiction and recovery. Jules’ mantra before every run, and her goal, will be just this: ‘Dear God- Please let my run go well, let my body feel strong and let my mind be at peace. AMEN!’

“I chose to run for The Herren Project because it truly embodies everything I was looking for. I strongly believe in that the stories that make up THP all add up to something amazing and that will make a huge difference. I am so inspired by everyone in this organization and grateful to be a part of this team!”

Jules’ go-to song in the final miles of her marathon will be I Believe In A Thing Called Love by The Darkness.

Click here to support Jules


Megan Denault & Greg Costigan

After having run Boston in 2017 with THP, Megan had the chance to take on New York, however an injury sidelined her until this year. This ended up being serendipitous because she gets to run and train with her fiance, Greg.

Greg, an avid biker and marathoner, was excited to have the chance to run New York for the first time with Megan. They will be running in celebration of Megan’s brother and their family and friends who are struggling with or overcoming addiction.

Click here to support Megan & Greg


Meg Mullins

Meg loves to run because of the way it makes her feel–fit and fearless.

Her goal for NYC this year is to take in the amazing experience, finishing the race, while offering hope and raising awareness that recovery is possible.

“As a child, surviving the secret trauma of a family members’ addiction was not easy. Thanks to The Herren Project, my family is now able to break through the stigma of shame, share empathy and acceptance and seek out effective pathways to rehabilitation that has enabled our loved one to embrace sobriety equipped with mindfulness strategies to live a healthy life in recovery. My heart is full having my mother back, and I too can begin to heal. THP’s running initiative has been a blessing in my life, a supportive and inspiring community reassuring me that I am not alone.”

Meg’s’ go-to song in the final miles of her marathon will be “Lose Yourself” by Eminem.

Click here to support Meg


Carly Taitz

Carly is running in memory of her friend, Jillian, who lost her battle with addiction in 2017.

“I am running to bring awareness to this terrible disease and hope to remove the stigma that surrounds it.”

This is Carly’s first marathon, so I she is just looking forward to crossing the finish line! She chose The Herren Project to further the work of the foundation and in honor of the individuals and the families fighting addiction.

“During our runs for timed miles for softball in college I’d listen to Right Above It by Lil Wayne on repeat, so that’s usually my go-to song when I need to pick up the pace– but any catchy hip hop song usually does the trick!”

Click here to support Carly


Jenna McMahon

Jenna says she’ll never know what it feels like to be an addict.

“Most days, even 9 years later, I’m still trying to sort out what it means just to be the sister of an addict. We had a good, solid childhood. We had hard-working, supportive parents. It’s so hard to understand how his addiction works, but I try. It’s hard to not live in fear all the time, especially when drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death among Americans under 50.

“It’s hard to digest other’s reactions when they find out – the awkward glance down, the look of sympathy. Sometimes, I can see the ‘he’ll never change,’ look in their eyes. When I’m on the subway, I often notice the casual, easy way in which an addict’s worth can be tossed aside and it angers me… because that person is somebody’s son, maybe somebody’s brother.

“Am I furious sometimes? Sad this has happened to our family? Desperate for a solution? Of course. The feeling that consumes me the most, however, is the anxiety of worrying that Jake ever doubts his self-worth. The fear that he might somehow believe that he doesn’t deserve to be loved.

“But my love is unwavering, through recovery and even through relapse. Sometimes he falls. Sometimes he falls really, really hard. But every time he finds the strength to pick himself up, find help, as challenging as that can be, and work tirelessly to maintain his sobriety, I am proud.

“In training and in the marathon, there will be times I’ll want to quit, but then I’ll remind myself that this is not nearly as hard as what he’s been through.

“On Nov. 4, I’ll run 26.2 miles in support of The Herren Project, an organization who seeks to increase awareness on the signs of addiction and bring hope for a better tomorrow, and in honor of my kind, smart, goofy, resilient, talented, compassionate baby brother… my brother who is also an addict.”

Click here to support Jenna


Jamie Ford

Jamie enjoys challenging herself physically and maintaining overall good physical health, especially because she didn’t take care of her body for so long earlier in her life. Running is her favorite way to do that—it helps her clear her head and get in her “me” time, but at the same time, training for and completing races gives her the structure and goals she needs to keep going.

This is Jamie’s first full marathon, and her goal is to finish strong and have fun!

‘I’m running under my own bib via the NYRR lottery and was looking for a way to add meaning to my miles. The Herren Project stuck out for me because of its focus on addiction recovery. Running has been and continues to be a huge part of my own recovery from alcoholism, so I am thrilled for these two huge parts of my life to be able to come together in such a positive way.”

Jamie’s go-to song in the final miles of her marathon will be The Distance, by Cake.

Click here to support Jamie


Laurie McGarvey

Laurie began running after she got sober, 10 years ago. Prior to that she often thought about running a marathon ‘one day’ but putting down that drink was next to impossible. That’s no so, today…
“My reasons for continuing to run involve a strong desire to become the best version of myself while letting others know that they also can put down that drink and pick up a pair of running shoes and just go. It has been a long journey for me, and The Herren Project has allowed me to run for goodness sake.
“On November 4, I will run the NYC marathon on the THP team in honor of those still sick and suffering, for their families and friends, and for those who don’t believe sobriety is possible. My mission in life is that every person feel valued and worthy just because they are alive. I am grateful to be sober and to be able to share my journey so that others may have hope and heal. “
Laurie’s goal is to enjoy every second that she gets to run and to finish with a smile!
“THP has been so instrumental in breaking the stigma around addiction and mental illness these past several years, and to be a part of that, well, it’s just the icing on the cake for me. THP lives its mission…one person…one family at a time…we do recover.”
Laurie’s go-to song in the final miles of her marathon will be Glorious Unfolding.

Click here to support Laurie