Saturday Spotlight- Stephen Buckley

Name: Stephen Buckley
Age: 54
Hometown: Setauket, NY
Current City: East Setauket, NY
In a relationship with Beth Ann
Children: Patrick (25), Shannon (23) and Devon (17)
Occupation: Senior System Analyst (Computers)
Born June 10th, 1964 at St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson

I want to start by thanking Lou for the invitation to share my story, the rest of the warriors for their warm welcome into this truly unique running group and last but not least Beth Ann🙂

First… a little about me and my journey. Read more

Saturday Spotlight- Sarah D’Amore

Name: Sarah D’Amore
Age: 45
Hometown: Oklahoma City
Current Town: Seaford
Husband: Husband, Michael (married 20 years in Oct.)
Daughter, Maria: 17
Pets: Cookie, 15 (Jack Russell), Teddy, 1 (Border Terrier mix rescue), Ellie, 8 (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that belonged to my mom)
Occupation: P/T Accountant

I was born & raised as an only child in Oklahoma City. My mom was a stay-at-home mom & my dad was an electrical engineer & graduate of the University of Oklahoma (Go Sooners!). I was lucky to grow up with a close relationship with both of my parents. My dad passed away in 2007 from complications from bladder cancer. My mom moved to New York to be closer to me about 3 years ago. After a short hospital stay this summer, she passed away on July 17. I’m still in shock. Read more

Saturday Spotlight- Victor Pajonas

Saturday Spotlight:

Name: Victor Pajonas
Age: 53
Hometowns: Elmont/Valley Stream
Current Town: Seaford (22 years)
Marital Status: Married (Suzy)
Children: Samantha (21) & Victor (20)
Occupation: Title Insurance

I just got back from an easy 10k run in Merrick at Levy – the dump.
It was very nice to spend an hour with two very good friends that I would never have known if I didn’t run. Lou gave me many months notice for today, but here I am writing this up fresh and still sweaty.

I am the oldest in the family and there’s 7 of us now. You would think my parents would have stopped after my birth. When I was two years old, a surgeon removed and transplanted a few of my neck muscles. They tell me I was in a body cast during that whole summer. Throughout my life I have looked at this procedure as both absolutely nothing & a major event. Read more

Saturday Spotlight- Leslie Saunders-Simmons

Name: Leslie Leslie Saunders-Simmons
Nicknames: Red, Showgirl (rugby nickname)
Age: 37 (Scorpio)
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
Current Town: Ronkonkoma
Occupation: Photographer
Marital Status: Married- 10 years
Children: 3 Girls (8 year old and twin 7 year olds)
PETS: a 7 month old Puppy, golden doodle named Jax
Favorite kicks: New Balance

I’m not sure where to start so I guess I will just dive right in with a little background. I grew up in Las Vegas and moved to the East coast in the middle of 8th grade, Salem MA. It was a hard move for me since my Dad stayed in Vegas as my parents were getting a divorce and I was leaving my friends. I went through a bit of rebellion period . . . and decided to try out for the High School Football team. Basically everyone made the team as long as they made it through a week long sleep over triple session camp and didn’t miss practice. I never missed a practice and did my best to keep up with the guys. I started out as a guard, Sophomore year a tackle, Junior year wide receiver and Senior Wide receiver and corner on defense. (As the guys got bigger I got smaller)I was in the gym lifting every day and got my free weights squats to 315 at the time. I stuck it out all 4 years and it was a pretty amazing experience looking back. I also played basketball (Eastern Mass champions) and softball. Read more

Saturday Spotlight- Jason Vittore

Name: Jason Vittore
Age: 43
Nickname: Vittore, JV
Hometown: Levittown, NY
Current Town: Levittown, NY

Marital Status: Widower – My Wife Jessamyn passed away back in 2015

Children: Quinn-5 (Future Warrior in Training)

Pet: 1 Dog – Baci (Yorkie poo or a Porkshire lol)

Occupation: Underground Utility Locator for USIC

Favorite Band: Dave Matthews Band

Favorite Kicks: Brooks
Current Kicks: Glycerin 15’s (Best 👟 Ever!)

It is such an honor to be the WOTW. I was in shock when Lou asked me to be the WOTW. I actually thought he made a mistake and was meaning to IM someone else. Lol. But, here I am and I couldn’t be happier. Thank you for this honor!! I am not accustomed to talking about myself and especially talk about running and the things I have done with it. I will give it a go. Lol Read more

Saturday Spotlight- Sharon Madison-Fricker

NAME: Sharon Madison-Fricker

AGE: 42 (as of last week)

NICKNAME: When I was a child my grandfather called me “Short Stop” because I was so small and fast. I actually thought that was my name until my Mom corrected me in a supermarket. I secretly wish that I had an adult nickname lol.

HOMETOWN: Complicated. The day before I was born my family moved from southern CA to Memphis, TN. When I was 2 years old we moved back to Thousand Oaks, CA. When I was 12 (against my severe protests) we moved to Commack, NY. I learned to love it and now consider Long Island my home. I have lived in Chicago and in Florida and I couldn’t wait to move back to Long Island each time.

CURRENT TOWN: Ronkonkoma

MARITAL STATUS: Married and in love for 18 years come November ❤

PETS: Buttercup (60lb terrier mix) and Fiona (70+lb pitbull/lab mix) – Otherwise known as The Princesses or The Girls.

OCCUPATION: Full Time: Marketing Manager for an International Courier and Customs Brokerage company. Part Time: Yoga Instructor

EDUCATION: BA in Psychology from SUNY Stonybrook, MBA from Dowling, Certified Yoga Instructor

FAVORITE SONG: Depends on the day and activity. I love my yoga music and make it a big part of my classes. “For What It’s Worth” re-mix by DJ Drez is in almost every one of my class playlists. Alternative metal and workout re-mix is key for a good run and/or workout. “A Warrior’s Call” by Volbeat is a must for the hills. 1960’s rock, Depeche Mode, Country, POD… too much to choose from. Yes, I know that I am a mess.

FAVORITE KICKS: I love my Brooks but I have my eyes on a pair of Hoka One – I hear they are like running on clouds.

MAIN INTERESTS: Running (obviously), Yoga, My Dogs, Strength Training, Obstacle Racing, hiking, anything outdoors really, all things silly and fun, Golf, travel, health & wellness, cooking, anything history related….

WO AM I?: The true crux of who I am, my true purpose, is inspiration and help for others. Everything that I am comes from a place of love and a genuine drive to help other people love themselves, find the courage to be themselves and become the best versions of themselves.

WORDS TO LIVE BY: 1. PERSPECTIVE! 2. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

OK, so, DON’T MIND THE MESS! Where do I even start? When Lou asked me to be the warrior of the week I was so flattered and honored. I truly enjoy reading the posts from everyone else each week and you all have such amazing stories. So, here goes…. I will try to not write a novel. Read more

Saturday Spotlight- Janet Buitenkant

Janet (Munro) Buitenkant
57: once you start entering races, ya can’t hide your age
Hometown: Ronkonkoma
Current home: Northport
Family: Bill husband of 39yrs, sons Raymond 22 and Ian 20. Im the oldest of 3,both siblings live here on Long Island as do both my parents.
Pet: one cockatiel Smokey
Occupation: Registered nurse operating room

I’ve only been running since march 2016. My first race was Little Cow Harbor 4 mile. I was encouraged to run it by my sister Susan Munro- Donnelly. It will be fun and it’s right near your neighborhood she said. I kind of trained( run-walk-run) in whatever sneakers I had in my closet, and more layers than anyone should run in. She was right on both counts. I was hooked. Read more