News

Sep 14, 2019

Minds Matter Cleveland Featured on Channel 5 News

WEWS News Channel 5 Kevin Barry's A Better Land segment on our program went live today! Watch it and read more here.

August 30, 2019

Minds Matter Executive Director Earns YWCA Greater Cleveland Distinguished Young Woman Award

Congratulations to the 2019 YWCA Distinguished Young Woman honorees, including our Executive Director, Sara Elaqad! These women are recognized for making a difference in Northeast Ohio through career accomplishments, community involvement, and commitment to YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism and empowering women.

Jun 11, 2019

Congratulations to the Class of 2019

We celebrated the graduation of the Minds Matter Cleveland Class of 2019 on June 1, 2019, at the Cleveland Public Library.  Congratulations, Graduates! Click here, or on the slide show below to see photos from the event.

May 6, 2019

Cleveland Marathon Runner Spotlight: Lisa

Lisa-runner

What distance are you running?

I'm running the half-marathon.

How long have you been running?

I've run on and off ever since high school. I go through phases in which I really enjoy running and other times not so much.

Do you have a finish time goal for the Cleveland event?

Really, just to finish. Would be nice to keep an 11-minute mile pace though.

What’s your favorite in-race/run nutrition?

I like a piece of fruit, preferably peaches or apples.

How do you stay motivated to run?

I struggle with this at times. Most of the times I'm thinking.. "Okay only 5 miles to go. Okay now only 4 miles to go..."

If you listen to music, what’s on your go-to playlist?

I listen to a lot of reggaeton when I'm running.

 

What’s your favorite post-race snack?

I run after work, so normally I eat whatever I'm cooking for dinner that night.

Do you have any advice for runners training for any of the Cleveland events?

I'm training with a friend, who keeps me accountable. It's helping a lot!

Any funny/memorable moments when running?

Running through downtown Cleveland when the Indians were in the 2016 World Series was pretty cool. Started off with really positive energy and then ... not so much.

Where is your favorite place to run?

I love running over the the Hope-Memorial Bridge into the city — it's such a cool view of the city. I also like to run at Edgewater Park and when it's really hot I like to run in Euclid Creek Reservation because it has lots of shade and you feel so deep in the woods even though you're only a few minutes outside of the city.

May 2, 2019

Cleveland Marathon Runner Spotlight: Jeremy

Jeremy_runner

What distance are you running?

Half marathon.

How long have you been running?

For as long as I remember, but only over the last couple of years have really fallen in love with it! I actually ran a full marathon in 2016 on a whim!  

Do you have a finish time goal for the Cleveland event?

2 Hours!

What’s your favorite in-race/run nutrition?

Bananas.

How do you stay motivated to run?

I actually run off of pure will and adrenaline!

If you listen to music, what’s on your go-to playlist?

I actually do not listen to music when I run.

What’s your favorite post-race snack?

More bananas, haha.

Do you have any advice for runners training for any of the Cleveland events?

Do not wait until the last minute to begin training!

Any funny/memorable moments when running?

Tripping over my own feet and taking a spill in front of a huge,group of onlookers, haha!

Where is your favorite place to run?

Squire's Castle in Lake County.

April 25, 2019

Cleveland Marathon Runner Spotlight: Sara

RunSpot_Instagram

What distance are you running?

I did a challenge where I would run my first full marathon if I raised $2,620 for Minds Matter. Generous friends and supporters stepped up and now I’m going to do 26.1!

How long have you been running?

I guess about 20 years. I started running when I joined my middle school track team. I went on to run track and cross country in high school and have continued to run on my own since then, with some falls off the wagon every now and then. It doesn't always feel like it comes naturally or easily, but it's something I've committed to for a long time for my own reasons, including the mental and physical health benefits of it being important to me.   

Do you have a finish time goal for the Cleveland event?

I would like to come close to George W. Bush’s 1993 Houston Marathon finish time of 3:45. That is a mile pace of 8:33. Honestly, it’s a reach for me for this distance. How was he that fast?  #beatgeorge

What’s your favorite in-race/run nutrition?

I’ve been using Spring Energy for really long runs. I like it because it’s made of whole food ingredients.

How do you stay motivated to run?

Running and training is hard but I think of it as something I GET to do. And, I try to focus on and appreciate the journey. Yes, there is an awesome goal to achieve, but the real point is in facing the challenges and experiencing the growth along the way. It’s not supposed to be easy.

If you listen to music, what’s on your go-to playlist?

A lot of upbeat hip hop and pop. I love some Nikki Minaj and Shania.

What’s your favorite post-race snack?

Post long races, I usually eat something like a banana and almond butter. During training (and all the time) I make and stock my fridge with a chia protein pudding that I love, so that’s a go-to. If anyone wants the recipe, let me know!  It’s easy to make and super nutritious.

Do you have any advice for runners training for any of the Cleveland events?

Same advice I have for everything: believe in yourself! Seriously. Honor and value yourself and your goals. Put in the work, and then have genuine faith in yourself.

Any funny/memorable moments when running?

There was the time in 11th grade when I tripped and basically did a flip over the hurdles. There may be video somewhere.

Where is your favorite place to run?

I don’t get over there much anymore but I love running in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens.

April 23, 2019

Cleveland Marathon Runner Spotlight: Jacob

Jacob Stoller

What distance are you running?

I’m running 13.1.

How long have you been running?

I’ve been running for 5 years.

Do you have a finish time goal for the Cleveland event?

Not this year.

What’s your favorite in-race/run nutrition?

I like HotShot because it helps with cramps.

How do you stay motivated to run?

I just try to remind myself that I’m outside and there’s nothing better than that!

If you listen to music, what’s on your go-to playlist?

It’s a large variety. I’ll even listen to books on tape!

Do you have any advice for runners training for any of the Cleveland events?

Take advantage of the nice days!

Where is your favorite place to run?

I enjoy running in new cities, it’s a great way to explore and learn about a new community.

April 18, 2019

Cleveland Marathon Runner Spotlight: Elisa

Elisa

What distance are you running?

8k

How long have you been running?

I’ve been running since 2012.

Do you have a finish time goal for the Cleveland event?

I’d like to finish in under 50 minutes.

What’s your favorite in-race/run nutrition?

I like Gatorade.

How do you stay motivated to run?

Music keeps me motivated for when I run solo but I also love the energy from the crowd at the start of a race.

If you listen to music, what’s on your go-to playlist?

Shakira!

What’s your favorite post-race snack?

An apple because it’s so refreshing!

 

Do you have any advice for runners training for any of the Cleveland events?

Cross training on an elliptical or bike is better than skipping a training run

Any funny/memorable moments when running?

During the NYC marathon in 2014, I almost slipped on a banana peel! I felt like I was in Mario Kart.

Where is your favorite place to run?

I miss running on the boardwalk in Staten Island. I still need to find my go-to running spot in Cleveland.

April 16, 2019

Cleveland Marathon Runner Spotlight: Curt

Curt

What distance are you running?

Full Marathon.

How long have you been running?

On and Off for about a year.

Do you have a finish time goal for the Cleveland event?

Under 4 hours.

(for long distance runners): What’s your favorite in-race/run nutrition?

Never run long distance before so I'll just say water.

How do you stay motivated to run?

Runner's High -- it's real

If you listen to music, what’s on your go-to playlist?

Gotta have a mix of classic rock, hip-hop, alternative, folk, and indie -- keep the pace/rhythm changing so I don't get too comfortable.

What’s your favorite post-race snack?

Chocolate Milk.

 

Do you have any advice for runners training for any of the Cleveland events?

Nope, I need advice. This is my first real race.

Any funny/memorable moments when running?

None.

Where is your favorite place to run?

North Chagrin Reservation -- I could run that trail system with my eyes closed.

 

April 11, 2019

Cleveland Marathon Runner Spotlight: Christina

RunSpot_Instagram

What distance are you running?

Half marathon

How long have you been running?

I’ve been running for about three years and seriously for the last year.

Do you have a finish time goal for the Cleveland event?

It’d be awesome to finish with a sub-2:00 half. But, I don’t know. The weather can be unpredictable and there’s some major hills (for me) out of the Flats and into Tremont.

(for long distance runners): What’s your favorite in-race/run nutrition?

I recently discovered GU salted caramel. It still has the GU-ish after taste, but it’s delicious.

How do you stay motivated to run?

It can be a challenge to keep running, especially if the weather is sub-par. But, I’ve had some running injuries in the past and this is the first year I feel pretty good. So, I tell myself how important following the training plan is.

If you listen to music, what’s on your go-to playlist?

I run with a lot of indie music. I just tried to find something that might entertain me as I was running and that I could sing along with. Plus, the beat of most of my songs is fast and consistent so that sometimes helps me with pacing.

What’s your favorite post-race snack?

I just usually want a banana and water. I get a little grouchy if there isn’t fruit at the finish line.

Do you have any advice for runners training for any of the Cleveland events?

It depends on your goal. If you’re just going out to have fun, you need to get some running ahead of time so. But, if you want to run the race, then no matter the distance, it’s good to find and use a training plan. Most training plans have you running three days a week. Don’t think you have to run every day because that’s actually more harmful than beneficial. Follow the training plan, and, don’t overlook cross-training.  I’ve run into trouble when I stray from the training plan.

Any funny/memorable moments when running?

When I was running last year in the Cleveland half, a guy yelled out at me “Way to go … Flower Pants” because I was indeed wearing flower pants. So “FlowrPantz” is my nickname on my bib.

Where is your favorite place to run?

I like Rocky River Reservation. It’s got a lot of paved trails and they’re long, so they’re great for my longer runs.

 

April 9, 2019

Cleveland Marathon Runner Spotlight: Nina

RunSpot_Instagram

What distance are you running?

I'm signed up for the challenge series, so I'm running the 8k on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday. It sounded like a good idea at the time!

 

How long have you been running?

 I've been running recreationally since high school.

 

Do you have a finish time goal for the Cleveland event?

Sort of. I would love to PR and run a sub 1:49 half, but I am also still trying to get back in shape after having my third baby, so that may not be a realistic goal just yet.

 

What’s your favorite in-race/run nutrition?

I think Clif Shot Bloks taste the best. Honey Stinger waffles are delicious too, but are more difficult to carry.

 

How do you stay motivated to run?

Running and staying active is my stress relief, and with three kids, I need all the help I can get in the stress department! Plus, I want to model a healthy lifestyle for my children. My husband is also a runner/triathlete, so it's motivating to have a partner to train with.

 

If you listen to music, what’s on your go-to playlist?

I like to make playlists with a bunch of random music that makes me laugh, like when a song like "Wannabe" by the Spice Girls comes on or "How Will I Know?" by Whitney Houston. It helps distract me on longer runs.

 

What’s your favorite post-race snack?

Chocolate milk or a chocolate protein shake always taste so delicious after a hard workout!

 

Do you have any advice for runners training for any of the Cleveland events?

Be prepared for the elements! Cleveland Marathon weekend is notorious for crazy weather. One year it can be 80 degrees and humid and another year it can be 30 degrees and snowing. Train in all types of weather so that you're prepared but realize that there are some things you just can't control. Just enjoy the experience and try to smile at the crowds cheering. Remember to thank the volunteers too!

 

Any funny/memorable moments when running?

One of my favorite running memories was the Cleveland half in 2016. I ran with a group of friends and we experienced all the weather Cleveland has to offer in one race! It was raining, sleeting, snowing, and then the sun came out. It was pretty terrible, but somehow I had a blast. I typically enjoy running alone, but running with a group and encouraging each other along the way was such a fun experience!

Where is your favorite place to run?

I love running in the Metroparks, especially in the fall. The colors are so beautiful! It's a very peaceful place to run or bike.

Apr 5, 2019

Sara Elaqad appointed to Board of Education

Minds Matter Executive Director, Sara Elaqad, was appointed to the Cleveland Metropolitan School District Board of Education on April 5th, 2019.  Read more from the CMSD News Bureau here.

April 3, 2019

Cleveland Marathon Runner Spotlight: Francis

We're kicking off our runner profiles with Francis Fungsang. Francis is our Director of Grant Writing and an ACT prep instructor.  He helps students prepare for the ACT by teaching them test-taking strategies.

Print

What distance are you running?

Half-Marathon

How long have you been running?

I started my running career with a half-marathon in 2013. It was a great learning experience and since then I've run at least one half-marathon each year, usually the Towpath in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Do you have a finish time goal for the Cleveland event?

The last time I broke 2 hours was 1:58 in 2016. This is the year I'm topping it!

What’s your favorite in-race/run nutrition?

I switch off between Gatorade and water at the beverage stations. The Gatorade ( any flavor, really) wakes me up for at least a few seconds.

How do you stay motivated to run?

MUSIC. I used to run without music when I first started, but that's unthinkable now. With the longer distances the silence gets really boring.

 

If you listen to music, what’s on your go-to playlist?

I haven't bothered to change my playlist since I first started running. My go-to songs are ones that move, like ones by Daft Punk, My Chemical Romance, Phantogram, etc.

What’s your favorite post-race snack?

Whatever the race organizers have available. Usually this means multiple bananas and/or fruit. It's weird that some races offer beer.

Do you have any advice for runners training for any of the Cleveland events?

Definitely train so that you're able to run the entire distance, ramping up each week until you get as close as you can to the race distance. Sometimes I run out of training weeks, and only make it to 10 miles for my longest run. You can tell because my mile-times start going through the roof at miles 11, 12, and 13.

Any funny/memorable moments when running?

A few years ago when running the Towpath half, I passed a running dad who was pushing a baby stroller during the race. I thought, “How long can that guy run while pushing that stroller?” Little did I know, near the end of the race the dad blows right by me still pushing that stroller. I was so shocked and impressed. The stroller dad beat me to the finish by a lot.

Where is your favorite place to run?

I like running the bridges downtown, especially the Carnegie bridge. It's 1 mile across, from Ontario to West 24th. And you don't have to worry about cars getting in your way.

Mar 27, 2019

Minds Matter on WKYC

Minds Matter Cleveland was featured on WKYC Channel 3 Live on Lakeside.  Check out the segment here!

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