Team Innocence Project for the 2012 ING NYC Marathon

The Innocence Project is thrilled to participate as an ING NYC Marathon charity partner for the first time this year. 

On Sunday, November 4, 2012, a team of 5 people will run for the Innocence Project in the ING New York City Marathon, raising awareness about wrongful convictions and fundraising to help free the innocent. 

Each member of the team receives guaranteed entry into the ING NYC Marathon and commits to raising a minimum of $3,500 to support the Innocence Project. Team members can set up fundraising pages through Crowdrise. Runners are responsible for their own registration fees.

All 5 spots for guaranteed entry have been filled. If you have your own spot for the race and would like to help raise money for the Innocence Project, please visit Crowdrise to set up your fundraising page and join our fundraising team.

About the team

Vanessa Meterko - Click to donate to Vanessa’s Page

I’ve completed several marathons in the past (very slowly, and just for the love of running and the camaraderie of the event), however, since I don’t love fundraising, I’ve never run for a charity before. It’s an indication of how deeply I believe in the Innocence Project’s mission that I feel proud to raise money for the organization this year.

Ever since I first learned about the phenomenon of false confessions, I’ve been troubled by the injustice of wrongful convictions. I admired the Innocence Project’s work for years before I joined the staff, and since being hired as a Research Analyst, I’m even more inspired. On a daily basis, I help collect and analyze data about exonerees and their cases, and I stay up-to-date on academic literature that provides insight into factors that contribute to wrongful convictions. I’m surrounded by bright, dedicated co-workers who are passionate about social justice, and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some of our exonerees who – while they each have unique experiences and perspectives – never fail to impress me with their enormous strength and grace.

Because of all these amazing people, I’m absolutely thrilled to be part of the Innocence Project’s inaugural NYC Marathon team. Looking forward to wearing the IP logo on race day!

 

Nancy Katz - Click to donate to Nancy’s Page

Talk about a long haul! That is what some people say when I tell them I’m running a marathon, but it is nothing compared to the long haul that the exonerees go through. My husband, Matthew, and I became involved with the Innocence Project after seeing an article on Taryn Simon’s work nearly a decade ago. We have been impressed with the dedicated, compassionate and intelligent team who work tirelessly to free the innocent. Matthew has served on the Board of Directors for several years and I am running to help raise both awareness and funds for the mission.

I started running three years ago. At first, a half of a block seemed too long, but through persistence, hard work, and maybe an ounce of a plain stubbornness, I worked my way up to running the Philadelphia Marathon last November. As rewarding as that race was to run, I know the NYC marathon will be more so because I am running to help such a great organization.

In my non-marathon training life, I am a veterinarian and the owner of Katz & Dogs Animal Hospital in Upper Montclair, NJ. As a veterinarian and leader of a team of 12 phenomenal paraprofessionals, I am given the opportunity to do what I love every day, surrounded by people who are inspired by the same goals. My husband is also a runner and my best friend. I am constantly inspired at work and at home and feel fortunate that I have so many opportunities. I am running so that others may know what that is like.

 

Liz Janszky - Click to donate to Liz’s Page

I’ve wanted to run a marathon since middle school, and was well on my way to completing this goal when I was seventeen years old, but a horrible case of conjunctivitis put me out of commission for six weeks. By the time I was ready to train again, I had lost any motivation to run 26.2 miles. My marathon aspirations have stayed on my bucket list, but I could never find the drive to actually commit to training for it. Then I started working for the Innocence Project and when we decided to create a marathon team to raise money for the IP, I immediately signed up. I honestly can’t imagine a more passionate group of people, a more dedicated organization, or a more inspiring cause than the Innocence Project and the innocence movement in general. What IP does every day for so many wrongly convicted people - that’s truly difficult work. Running a marathon is a breeze comparatively (Kidding! It’s probably one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life - but worth it).


Jorge Linares - Click to donate to Jorge’s page

I am running the NYC Marathon this year, which will be my 10th year anniversary. I ran the NYC marathon in 2002, 10 days after a major car accident. I had a near death experience that made me change the course of my life. I have always been fascinated by the advances in science. I believe DNA exonerations are but one way that science can be directly applied to social injustices like wrongful convictions. I believe the future looks bright as technological advances tackle social problems. 

Professionally, I am a trader, specializing in financial futures. I graduated from Duke University with a B.Sc. in Economics, and a B.A. in Art History. In 2005, I was instrumental in developing Sofia Group Foundation, a private foundation, which gives grants to medical students in Peru. I also founded Ex Vivo Productions, as a creative outlet in order to collaborate with emerging artists.

 

Shawna Enright - Click to donate to Shawna’s Page

Nearly 10 years ago I serendipitously stumbled across the finish line of the NYC marathon during my very first fall in the city. I’ll never forget the look on the runners’ faces as they crossed the finish line — joy, pain, relief, exhaustion — all at the same time. I was witnessing the culmination of months of hard work and since that moment I’ve always wanted to know what that feels like.

This year, I decided that I was finally ready to run in the NYC marathon. I knew that I wanted to run for a charity that I deeply cared about so I contacted the Innocence Project and asked if they would be interested in putting the team together and they said yes! I can’t think of better way of honoring the exonerees and all of the men and women who are waiting for justice.

Why am I running for the Innocence Project? About a year before I decided to go to law school, I was at the Housing Works book store and I came across an autographed copy of Surviving Justice: America’s Wrongfully Convicted and Exonerated, which is a collection of interviews of exonerees. I stayed on the floor of the bookstore for hours and I literally could not put the book down. I scoured the footnotes for information about wrongful convictions and I came across several references to Actual Innocence, which ultimately changed my life. After reading the book and after a lot of thought, I decided to attend Cardozo Law School in order to participate in the Innocence Project clinic. To this day, participating in the clinic has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

Visit the ING NYC Marathon for more information about the charity program or contact Laura Ma at lma@innocenceproject.org or 212-364-5976.