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Calls to Action

"Team Autism Speaks" Raises Awareness at ING NYC Marathon

Fifty-three Runners Run, Raise over $160,000 and Counting
November 05, 2008

The members of the 2008 Team Autism Speaks at their pre-race pasta dinner

It was a chilly, brisk morning when 53 runners boarded the bus to take them to the starting line of the 39th running of the ING NYC Marathon on November 2. But the cold did not dampen or freeze the spirits of those runners, for they were running with a purpose. They were running for Team Autism Speaks!

Team Autism Speaks was represented by 53 runners from 14 states, Switzerland and Australia, and included newcomers and veterans from last year's team. Team members ran the “blue line” through the five boroughs, raising awareness with every step they took on the 26.2 mile course, and accomplishing much more as well.

Team new comer Michael Drummond finished the race. "I feel great," the 41-year-old Rockland County native said, standing alongside 72nd Street in Manhattan after finishing in 4 hours, 45 minutes, 41 seconds. "I got a text message from one of my friends last night from college that said: 'Cooper is lucky to have me as a dad.' It almost put me in tears."

Watch Michael Rosanoff of Autism Speaks prepare for and run the 2008 ING NYC Marathon
(YouTube, 3 mins.)

Watch highlights from Team Autism Speaks at the 2008 ING NYC Marathon
(YouTube, 3 mins.)

Melody Tabman from Florida took in the experience every step of the race, “It was a very difficult run but so incredibly beautiful. The crowds were unbelievable thousands of spectators came out in the cold and wind to cheer on all 40,000 runners. I had my name on the front of my Team Autism Speaks shirt so spectators were constantly calling my name and yelling encouraging words. The experience was simply UNBELIEVABLE.”

Click here to read "Why We Run" essays from four members of Team Autism Speaks.

Our runners are still working on fundraising and can use your help. To date over $160,000 has been raised for Autism Speaks and donations can be made at

If you are interested in joining the team in 2009, please email your contact information to and we will place you on a waiting list. You will receive an email once we confirm our 2009 participation. Congratulations to all finishers; you are all champions in our hearts. Only 359 days until the 2009 ING NYC Marathon.