2018 Foot Locker Five Borough Challenge

On November 4, 2018, five runners—one from each borough of New York City—competed in the Foot Locker Five Borough Challenge, a race within the TCS New York City Marathon. Meet the members of the 2018 Foot Locker Five-Borough Challenge team and read their inspiring stories. 

The five members of the 2018 Foot Locker Five Borough Challenge Team have each drawn inspiration from running in order to face significant challenges in their lives. They took their 2018 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 is treated as VIPs during race week, and they have their own start time and are featured on the WABC-TV, Channel 7 television broadcast. Challenge team members run the first 13.1 miles of the marathon together; after that, they compete for the title of Foot Locker Five Borough Challenge champion. The winner receives a Tiffany & Co. trophy and citywide bragging rights. 

Unn Hidle, Bronx
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Originally from Oslo, Norway, Unn Hidle moved to New York City after being an exchange student in West Virginia. She got into the New York City Marathon in 1996 and her sister Kira, with whom she was especially close, designed the shirt she ran in during the race. Kira tragically passed away three months after Hidle completed her first marathon. As a way to cope with the grief, she intensified her passion for running. “To this day I treasure my early morning runs,” she says. “They have become a time of meditation where I can feel my sister’s spirit and reflect on all the wonderful times we had together.” This year’s race will be Hidle’s 23rd marathon. “While I will always miss my dear sister, the sight of my family cheering me on as I run through our home borough of the Bronx is a great comfort,” she says.

Stephen Andrews, Brooklyn
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Stephen Andrews, originally from Trinidad and Tobago, had always struggled with his weight. In 2010, with the scale reading 200 pounds, Andrews decided to take diet and exercise seriously. As an incentive to receive extra daily consumption points through a weight loss program, he began walking on a treadmill. From there, Andrews slowly built up to running for hours, and got the courage to run a half marathon with his sister-in-law in 2011. Since then, he has continued running and has lost over 50 pounds. Andrews’ first marathon was the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon, and last year he reached his goal of completing the race in less than four hours. “It was truly a magical experience,” he says. This year marks Andrews’ 11th marathon. 

Pamela Passarello, Manhattan
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Pamela Passarello, formerly of Staten Island, has been living in Manhattan and running since 2006. Passarello began running as a healthy outlet from her fast-paced career as a corporate attorney. “Running has been a constant in my life during many triumphs, adventures, changes, and challenges. No matter what the current life situation, I believe running keeps me positive and focused,” she says. She uses running as a means to help others by raising funds for Fred's Team and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, as well as volunteering as a running coach for the American Cancer Society. This will be Passarello’s eighth marathon.

Jeff Munoz, Queens
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Queens native Jeff Munoz began running as a means to cope with the depression that resulted from his mom’s passing. “After running an NYRR four-mile race with a friend, I began to search for races that supported cancer awareness and similar causes. Running has been the best therapy for me,” he says. In addition to helping him cope with his loss, running has sparked a desire in Munoz to encourage others to run. He is currently a run director at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, coordinating free 5K NYRR Open Runs for the community. This will be Munoz’s fourth TCS New York City Marathon, and seventh overall.

Stephanie Fraschilla, Staten Island
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Stephanie Fraschilla, a Staten Island native, runs to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. Almost three years ago, her dad experienced a heart attack and was also diagnosed with stage-three kidney cancer. “Multiple surgeries later, including open heart bypass, he’s a new man with a second chance at life, and we are forever grateful,” says Fraschilla. This will be Fraschilla’s 12th marathon.