TCS New York City Marathon: Upper East Side locals run to shine a light on people struggling with mental illness

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Friday, November 3, 2023, 1:02 a.m

The Upper East Side native is running the NYC Marathon for a cause close to his heart

UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) – Henry McGowan takes on the biggest running challenge of his life and tries to help people whose lives have changed due to mental illness.

“I’ve been running for eight years,” McGowan told Eyewitness News. “This is the natural next step after running a few halves and a triathlon for a cause that is very close to my heart.”

RELATED: 2023 TCS NYC Marathon By The Mile

McGowan is part of National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)the largest grassroots mental health organization in the United States

“NAMI is really important to me,” McGowan said. “When I was looking for an organization to run the race with, this one really stood out to me.”

Up to 70 members of the group plan to take part in the TCS New York City Marathon this year.

It’s good for everyone’s emotional, physical and mental health as long as you prepare for it.

“I think the biggest challenge is regularity,” he shared. “I’ve always loved running, but running it at your own pace and whenever you want is a lot different than signing up for a marathon that requires you to run five days a week.”

Henry was a spectator at the marathon and is looking forward to running past crowds this year.

“I think this is the one day when the city really feels like everyone is one,” he said.

The Upper East Side native wants his experience to highlight his journey and his work with NAMI, an alliance that is for everyone.

“If you are struggling, ask for help, or if someone close to you is struggling with mental illness, offer help,” he said. “The organization is so great because it’s not just for people with mental illness, but it’s more about the individual’s family and empowering and training them to help that person,” he said.

Discover more coverage of the 2023 TCS NYC Marathon here and tune in to Channel 7 starting at 7 a.m. Sunday for coverage of the race.


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James Brien

James Brien is a WSTNewsPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. James Brien joined WSTNewsPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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