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Kirsten’s Journey from Couch to 5K and Beyond

Citizens is intentional and passionate about managing wellness differently. To support this holistic effort of “health at every turn,” we are investing in programs, experiences, offerings, practices, and behaviors to deliver on that objective. As a recent example, Citizens sponsored the 2023 TCS New York City Marathon and gave our colleagues an opportunity to participate in the race. We sat down with Senior CML Agency Services Specialist, Kirsten, to learn about her experience in the marathon and the evolution of her wellness journey.

Kirsten hasn’t always been a runner. In fact, she was motivated to make a change shortly after college when she noticed her weight creeping up. She started with small changes like making better food choices and eventually added walking and running into her daily routine. In just 18 months, she was down 80 pounds and felt better than ever. In 2012, Kirsten decided to share her joy for running with others, becoming a volunteer coach with Girls on the Run, an organization that promotes self-esteem through running to third- to eighth-grade girls. In turn, she began challenging herself, turning her 5Ks into 10Ks, and eventually falling in love with half marathons – a challenging yet manageable distance that she could train for year-round. Kirsten’s current goal of completing a half marathon in every state is going strong with 20 states down!

Joining Team Citizens at the 2023 TCS NYC Marathon

When the opportunity to join Team Citizens at the 2023 TCS NYC Marathon came up, Kirsten knew she had to throw her hat in the ring. She had completed one marathon before, but this would be her first major event. To her surprise, she was one of the 130 colleagues and customers selected to receive a free entry bib as part of Team Citizens.

Kirsten joined her fellow colleagues for a VIP experience running the 26.2-mile race through New York City and described being part of Team Citizens as an “amazing experience.” While she said the entire course was “full of electricity,” some highlights included:

  • Visiting the Citizens-sponsored immersive digital booth at the Marathon Expo where Team Citizens runners received special swag bags that included a running hat, metal water bottle and a medal holder.
  • Boarding the VIP bus at 5:30 a.m. heading to the Starting Village. There, a heated VIP tent full of snacks greeted runners, along with the opportunity to meet and chat with fellow Team Citizens members.
  • Experiencing the two Cheer Zones at Miles 12 and 16 where Citizens colleagues and their families gathered to cheer on runners – with extra spirited cheers when a Team Citizens runner came though.
  • Running through all five boroughs in NYC, ending at Central Park, and crossing the finish line to receive her medal and a fleece-lined poncho.
  • Making it through the toughest part of the race – which was after the official marathon ended. The “Zombie March” (as Kirsten affectionally named it) was the one mile walk that all runners had to make to exit Central Park after the marathon. Most runners agreed it was the hardest part of the race.

The TCS NYC Marathon was an experience she will never forget.

Learn more about our commitment to colleague wellbeing here.