Mitch Feng, left, Anita Chen in the middle, their son in the front right, and friends, cheer on Chen’s six colleagues who are running for the Dream Corps charity. By Jennifer Cohen

 

Bells, whistles, cheers, and music blasted the streets on First Avenue as nearly 50,000 runners made their way through the affluent neighborhood of the Upper East Side.

Anita Chen, her husband Mitch Feng, their son, and friends live just down the street from where they stood to cheer on their colleagues on 77th Street and First Avenue. The neighborhood is known for being the most affluent in the city, with celebrity residents and upper class families, but today it was filled with an array of people supporting their friends and family running in the marathon.

Chen’s six colleagues ran today to raise money for the Dream Corps charity, which helps fund underprivileged children in rural areas of China with books and education. Almost $3,000 will was raised from the marathon to help provide the resources needed to educate the children in rural China.

“Rural China children, we are emphasizing, don’t have as much resources as the Metropolitan area that’s why they need help and we help them,” said Chen, an NYU Stern Alumni.

Chen has been running marathons for the last seven years. In 2013 she ran the TCS New York City Marathon and will again run it next year. This year for the 46th annual TCS NYC Marathon, Chen decided to be on the sidelines to cheer on her colleagues who helped raise money for the charity. She is very excited to come back next year as it makes her feel so humble compared to other cities she has ran in before.

“This marathon is a party for New York City and it definitely is one of the biggest events,” with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in second and the Yankee’s Parade in third, if they win, said Chen.

One of Anita’s colleagues, Yun Chen, took a break from her run to stop and took a picture with the sign that was made for her. With only 9 more miles to go, she smiled for the photo and headed back on the road to finish strong.

Chen and her family have walked from their home the last couple of years to watch the marathon. Although his wife is a big runner, Feng is not. He said it would be nice, but it is a lot of hard work to be able to run that long.

“Twenty-six point two miles oh my god, it takes such a long time to even pronounce that,” said Feng.

They may not run together, but the whole family takes the time to cheer on colleagues and watch everyone run up First Avenue. If people didn’t hold signs with their friend or family members name on it then they rang cowbells and screamed their names. It’s hard not get into the spirit of the marathon.

“You walk around there’s so much energy all over the place, it’s very exciting to everybody,” said Feng.