The TCS New York City Marathon mobile app will be available for iOS and Android in late October. Look out for updates!

2017 Foot Locker Five Borough Challenge

On November 5, 2017, five runners—one from each borough of New York City—will compete in the Foot Locker Five Borough Challenge, a race within the TCS New York City Marathon. Meet the members of the 2017 Foot Locker Five-Borough Challenge and read their inspiring stories. 

The five members of the 2017 Foot Locker Five Borough Challenge Team have each drawn inspiration from running in order to face significant challenges in their lives. They will take their 2017 TCS New York City Marathon experience to a higher level and show their pride in their borough, while bringing awareness to the challenges they’ve faced. 

The Foot Locker Five Borough Challenge Team will be treated as VIPs during race week, and on November 5 they’ll have their own start time and will be featured on the WABC-TV, Channel 7 television broadcast. The runner who finishes with the fastest time will become the 2017 Foot Locker Five Borough Challenge champion and win a Tiffany & Co. trophy and citywide bragging rights. Challenge Team members will run the first 13.1 miles of the marathon together; after that, they’re free to run alone or stay with the group. 

Katie Zottola, Bronx
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Bronx native Katie Zottola has always been fit. A casual runner since high school, her passion for the sport grew during her time as a collegiate athlete. After graduating from college in 2008 and beginning a career as a registered nurse in a neonatal ICU, she continued running with two of her childhood friends as a way to relieve stress. In December 2011, one of those friends, Margaret, tragically and unexpectedly passed away. “We had always dreamed of running the New York City Marathon together,” said Katie. “After her passing, my passion for running intensified and had a deeper meaning. It became a time for me to reflect on the valuable memories we shared, and a way to keep Margaret's memory alive.” Katie is set to run her second marathon.

Peter O'Rourke, Brooklyn
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As a kid growing up in Bay Ridge, Peter O’Rourke struggled with obesity. By the time he started high school, the scale read more than 300 pounds, and he decided to do something about it. “I dealt with a high school bully who made me hate myself and ruined my self-esteem,” said Peter, who is preparing for his 27th marathon. “I started running as a means to lose weight. Within a year, I lost 140 pounds, and was able to rebuild my self-esteem.” Peter’s passion for his new-found healthy lifestyle led him to a career where he could impact others. He’s currently a New York City physical education teacher, hoping to inspire and help his students who are struggling with their health and/or dealing with the stressors of bullying.

Dorothy Carlow, Manhattan
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Manhattan resident Dorothy Carlow was 17 years old when her father was convicted of a felony and sent to prison. Carlow’s family lost everything, leaving them with the burden of picking up the pieces that were left behind. Soon after her father’s conviction, she began running habitually. “I ran from the feelings of sadness, shame, and anger, but then started running into those feelings, and eventually through them,” said Dorothy. “I learned to get comfortable with the uncomfortable.” She equates running with life: “There is pain, there is doubt, there is fear, but we fight to come out victorious, smiling and high-fiving!” Dorothy’s father will be at this year’s TCS New York City Marathon, cheering her on as she runs her fourth marathon. 

Roger Mendoza, Queens
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In 2007, Roger Mendoza shattered his foot after falling two stories while practicing parkour. Doctors told him it was one of the worst breaks they’d ever seen, and that he would never run again, or walk without a limp. Roger was determined to prove them wrong. The day his uncle passed away, after a long struggle with diabetes, Roger took his first steps without crutches. “Life can be taken away in an instant. [My uncle] gave me the strength to will myself forward and take those steps without crutches,” he said. After eight years of painful therapy, Roger ran his first marathon in 2015. In addition to the physical challenges, he’s also battled with depression that caused him to contemplate taking his life in 2016. His relationship with his nephew gives him the drive to continue on. “I didn’t want him to be left with his uncle’s suicide as the story he’d have to tell,” said Roger. “Running has helped me prevail over both physical and mental challenges.” This will be his fourth marathon.

Chre Genao, Staten Island
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Chre Genao will be running her fourth TCS New York City Marathon. Running regularly has helped her overcome the losses she’s experienced throughout her life. In 2004, soon after she married and while she was pregnant with her first child, Chre’s mother was diagnosed with metastatic uterine cancer, and shortly after succumbed to the disease. In the years that followed, Chre’s marriage fell apart, and her father was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2012, sadly losing his battle in 2014. “I was grateful that he got the opportunity to see so many of my races and accomplishments,” she said. “Nothing compares to the hardship of being a single mother to three children, and losing my parents. I run to prove to myself and my children that I’m stronger than anything life throws at me.”