Justin Landis knows his way around New York City. That’s what running 26 miles around the city tends to do.
Landis, of Exton, Pa., ran the 2013 ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 3, officially representing USTA Middle States and USTA Serves. USTA Serves supports tennis programs throughout the country that utilize the combination of tennis and education to make a difference in the lives of America’s youth, and people with disabilities.
A tennis instructor from the Philadelphia area, Landis was among eight runners to dedicate their marathon experience to support the mission of USTA Serves. He raised more than $2,500 by seeking donations to support his 26.2 mile run, and is still seeking donations to reach the $3,500 mark.
Throughout the late summer and early fall, Landis followed a grueling training schedule, taking a long run every Tuesday that maxed out in October at 19 miles. He spent weeks looking forward to crossing the finish line, and when he finally did, it was all worth it, and resulted in an impressive time of 3:49:26, which breaks down to 8:45 per mile.
“I was tired, I was definitely hurting,” Landis said after the race. “But it was worth it. It was unlike anything I’d ever done before, and the crowd kept me in it. I was happy with how it went.”
For years, Justin Landis has spent his time sharing his passion for tennis with everyone around him. He took it to a new level with his run. All of the money raised by Landis was allocated to tennis and education programs in USTA Middle States. He then added to his community impact again, as just two days after his marathon, he was teaching a clinic for kids.
The ING New York City Marathon is one of the world’s most iconic races organized by the New York Road Runners Club, and is one of the six World Marathon Majors, along with Berlin, Tokyo, London, Chicago, and the Boston Marathon.
Landis, who had run a half-marathon and several shorter races in the past, said he’s now hoping to keep up with running, and hopes to run the Boston and Chicago marathons sometime in the near future.