September 15, 2023

Cultural Care Au Pair at the New York City Marathon

6 minutes
Au pair stories

Cultural Care Au Pair has been volunteering for—and running in—the New York City Marathon since 2015. We organize a large group of volunteers, including au pairs living in New York and nearby states, as well as Local Childcare Consultants (LCCs) and staff, to help out on the course. And because we bring so many helpers to the race, we secure running spots in the marathon each year as well—a wonderful outcome given how competitive it is to earn an official NYC Marathon bib.

A little about the New York City Marathon

The New York City Marathon is the largest marathon worldwide, and its course takes runners through the five boroughs of New York City. It became part of the World Marathon Major series in 2006 and typically welcomes runners from hundreds of countries worldwide.

Why do we participate in the New York City Marathon?

We’re a childcare program—so what’s the connection to a 26.2 mile run? The New York City Marathon is dedicated to bringing people together from all over the world for a chance to achieve a life-changing goal. Marathon runners push themselves out of their comfort zone to participate in a transformative experience, ultimately becoming stronger, happier and more confident. Our au pairs do the same through the au pair program!

Volunteering at the NYC Marathon—and other marathons around the country—is inspiring.  It’s a chance for au pairs to learn about the culture of American volunteerism and make new friends. It’s also a ton of fun! For the lucky au pairs, host mom and dads, LCCs and staff who get the chance to train for and run the race, it’s an experience like no other.

Our 2021 volunteer group

This year, a total of 147 Cultural volunteers will be handing out water, Gatorade and lots of encouragement on the course. Our past volunteers describe the experience as being one of their best days ever. Greek au pair Evangelia will be at mile 6 on Sunday and shares: “I’m looking forward to participate in this event while helping others!”

Our 2021 running team

Our small but mighty running team consists of 8 program participants: Josh Babb, host dad in VA; Marina Miranda, Argentinian au pair living in CA; Amayrani Perez Cruz, former au pair from Mexico; Joe Neiman, host dad in FL; Lizet Vasquez, former au pair from Spain; Kat Adams, host mom in CO; Phil Wagner, LCC in OH; and Jason Nark, former host dad in NC. All eight of our runners were hoping to participate in the 2020 New York City Marathon, but deferred to this year due to COVID-19. They’ve been waiting a really long time for this event and are thrilled to finally get to the marathon starting line on November 7th!

Host dad Josh Babb

Josh Babb is a 10-time marathon runner and 3-time host dad in Virginia. He’s also our very inspiring NYC Marathon team leader and has been helping our group of runners for months now with encouraging words, logistics tips and tricks and training advice. “I loved having the opportunity to run with Cultural Care Au Pair in 2019, and to be on a team of runners who ranged from completely novice to well-seasoned veterans of the marathon distance, was awesome. Watching people fall in love with running, learn to believe in themselves all over again, or realize for the first time that if they can do something as hard as run a marathon—then there’s nothing in this world they can’t do—is amazing.

The same goes for me—every time I commit to train for and run another marathon, the experience adds to the richness and fullness of the already blessed life I lead and challenges me in new ways!  I want to use my passion for running and the knowledge I have as to just how transformational it can be—to help every runner selected for the team—so that their experience is the most positive and meaningful it can be.”

Au pair Marina Miranda

Marina, 26-year old au pair from Argentina, just started a year-long third term extension with her host family in California. She is super excited to conquer the 26.2 mile challenge on Sunday!

“I’m a Physical Education teacher, so I love sports and physical activity. But, my favorite is running. I’ve been a runner since I was 16 years old. Running is not only an exercise for me, it means a lot of things. When I run, I feel very free, energetic and happy. It’s like a therapy! In Argentina, I run a lot of races and the energy that you feel is incredible and inexplicable! I was a volunteer in the NYC Marathon in 2019 because Cultural Care gave me the opportunity to do it, and it was amazing and really emotional. When I was there, I said that the next time I wanted to race this awesome race!

For all of these reasons and more, I am so excited to run the International NYC Marathon. It’s my dream!”


Au pair Amayrani Pérez

Amayrani is an au pair from México and was also selected to be part of Cultural Care’s New York City Marathon team! She spent almost two-and-a-half years with her host family in Florida, and is returning to the U.S. to run the race with her host dad.

“Running the New York City Marathon for me is one of the biggest goals I can ever achieve. I’ll be running it with my host dad. We have been training a lot, together and by ourselves, too. He is faster than me, but we are going together to New York, we can’t wait!

I love running because it is where my soul feels free and helps me to find my inner peace. It has been a challenging journey since I started training for the NYC Marathon—my first marathon—and I have learned so much along the way. Chasing this dream led me to realize what I am capable of and helped me to understand that nothing is impossible. I am so excited to get started with this journey which I am sure is going to be one of the best ones in my life!”


LCC Phil Wagner

Phil Wagner is a Local Childcare Consultant (LCC) in Cincinnati, Ohio! He supports a small—but growing!—group of au pairs and host families, and can’t wait to tackle his first marathon!

“I am a newer LCC with Cultural Care Au Pair, and this will be a fantastic opportunity to get more involved with our community. Growing up an athlete, I love being a part of a team and being with people who are competing and who come together for a common goal. I previously ran a half marathon and have been looking for a good reason to push myself to run a full! The NYC marathon is a world-famous race, and New York is one of my favorite places in the world. Running the streets with Cultural Care Au Pair is something I am honored to be a part of.”

Thank you to all of our Cultural Care volunteers who help to make the New York City Marathon possible. And to our running team—good luck and have fun out there!