NEW YORK — The 2015 TCS New York City Marathon is fast approaching, and with it comes the debut of TEAM ARMENIA, which was created by the New York Armenian Students’ Association (ASA) as the first official Armenian-based running team to participate in the race.

Earlier this spring, the New York ASA announced its approval as an official charity partner of the marathon. With the creation of its TEAM ARMENIA, the New York ASA was able to amass a group of six energetic and enthusiastic runners to tackle the grueling 26.2-mile course throughout New York’s five boroughs. The brave runners are as follows:

Berj Akian of New Jersey, running in his second NYC Marathon,
Armen Azarnia of New Jersey, running in his first NYC Marathon,
Heather Braun of Ohio, running in her first NYC Marathon,
Chris Horne of Ohio, running in his first NYC Marathon,
Nora Iknadossian of New York, running in her first NYC Marathon,
Narek Tovmasyan of New York, running in his first NYC Marathon.

TEAM ARMENIA has diligently been training since May in anticipation of the fateful day on November 1st, where it will join 50,000 fellow runners. Designated training runs of as long as 20 miles have been intended to prepare TEAM ARMENIA’s runners mentally and physically, while giving them the confidence and a sense of personal accomplishment to complete the course.

Equally as important, the six team members have devoted themselves to fundraise on behalf of the New York ASA to gather needed funds for several new ASA educational and arts-related initiatives in both the United States and Armenia. These initiatives include the following:

Support of the Johannissyan Institute in Armenia to digitize, restore and preserve important archival documents.

Contribution to the ASA’s national college scholarship fund, which grants thousands of dollars to deserving Armenian college students across the U.S.

Preparation of the New York ASA’s annual Art Exhibit, as well as other lectures and social gatherings organized with the intent of keeping the Armenian community in New York City viable and vibrant.

The fundraising goal of $3,000 per runner is challenging, but the runners continue to aggressively focus on these efforts while simultaneously preparing to persevere against the hard asphalt of the Big Apple.

For details on TEAM ARMENIA’s runners, including ways to sponsor their fundraising campaigns, please go online to asainc.org or email NYasa@asainc.org .

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