This month’s guest writer for the Women’s Column is Phyllis Nabhan, the Volunteer Coordinator and Social Chair for Pamakid Runners, the charitable organization that donates money to FrontRunners for our work at the Kaiser Half Marathon and JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge water stations. Read on to learn about the dramatic impact of running on Phyllis’ life and her active role in fitness-related philanthropy.
I have been running since 1983. I went from smoking 1 ½ packs of cigarettes a day, being overweight and out of shape, to still running today, 29 years later. I can thank my mother for helping me quit smoking and joining the Stonestown YMCA where I became a volunteer fitness instructor for 21 years, teaching aerobic dance twice a week to 50 – 100 people. Because of this experience, I lead aerobic warm-ups for several large running races including the Bonne Bell and the San Francisco Marathon.
After teaching the aerobic dance class for a year, some of the students introduced me to the idea of running. I started going to Stow Lake every morning to practice. There were quite a few runners there and we formed the “Stow Lake Runners” group. I would also run every Saturday morning in Golden Gate Park with a fellow fitness instructor. On one of our runs we met the “Saturday Water Fountain Running” group who were all Pamakids and ran with them every Saturday.
One of my aerobic students was very involved with the Pamakid Runners and suggested I join the club. The Pamakids were the originators of the San Francisco Marathon and many other running races. The Pamakids were known as “runners who put on running races for other runners.” In 1986 I was the Entertainment Coordinator for the San Francisco Marathon, having 26 spots of entertainment on the course. From that year on, I volunteered for everything I could with the Pamakids. 1986 was also the first year I ran a marathon.
During the 80’s and 90’s I ran excessively and became very involved in race management and volunteering. I belonged to many running clubs including the San Francisco Front Runners. In 1988 I was the Volunteer Coordinator for the World Corporate Games and all of the Pamakid races. I have been on the Pamakid Board of Directors for more than 25 years. I was also the Treasurer for the DSE Running Club for 6 years and still run most Sundays with them.
My fondest running memories are of races, social activities, and the family of friends that I have made. I loved the challenge of running marathons, and loved racing in the years my body would allow me to do so. Being a female runner really doesn’t enter into my thinking most of the time except in the years I was competitive and wanted to win against other women. I enjoy running with men and women equally.
The San Francisco Front Runners became involved with the Pamakids when they conducted the Water Station for the San Francisco Marathon and the Pamakid Half Marathon. The Half Marathon will be celebrating its 30th year on Sunday, February 3, 2013. The SF Font Runners have been a part of this event for most of those years. The Pamakids value the SFFR for their years of excellent service, exceptional members, and a great running club.
The SFFR will be conducting the Water Station for the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge on Wednesday night, September 12, 2012 near AT&T Ballpark at Lot “A” near McCovey Cove on Mission Rock near 3rd St. The Pamakids have been providing the volunteers for this event for more than 20 years. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to lend a hand.
I belong to and volunteer with the Pamakid Runners for the fun, fellowship, and opportunity to be of service to the running community. Many of the members have been my friends for more than 20 years. We are a family of Pas, Mas and Kids, the PaMaKids. The Pamakid Mission Statement states that we help the community. The Pamakids donate over $100,000.00 a year to charities. I love that we can help so many people. I still run three times a week. It gives me joy, freedom, self-esteem, health, and wonderful friends.