Our Coaches

Five Points Runners is run and coached by its founders, Lydia Vanderloo and John Wiltshire. Both are parents who live on the Lower East Side and saw the need for a rigorous running program with a supportive, community-oriented spirit. A dedicated and committed parent body ably supports the team.

Coach Lydia: Five Points Runners, Inc.

Lydia 190x261Lydia Vanderloo began running regularly in 2009, when she trained for her first half marathon. The next year, she ran the NYC Marathon, and since then has run 15 more half marathons and two additional marathons. Along with John, she founded the Five Points Runners in 2012 to offer children in the Lower East Side – including her own son and daughter – a safe, fun and challenging community in which to develop their running skills. Lydia is a USATF – Level I Certified Coach who also coaches with the American Cancer Society’s DetermiNation team, which trains athletes to run full and half marathons while fundraising.


Coach John: Five Points Runners, Inc.


John Wiltshire began his running career at an early age, competing at the high school, college levels and currently with West Side Runners here in New York. He has been a member of that team since the early 80’s. As a co-founder and coach of the Five Points Runners Track Club, his goal is to impart the love and discipline for the sport. “Running is a great discipline for children; they learn skills that will carry over into their adult lives,” says Wiltshire.

Wiltshire’s own running passion has led him to finish the New York City Marathon 26 times with a total marathon count of 36 and scores of half marathons and other races.

As a marathoner, Wiltshire knows what it’s like to push hard and dig deep to cross the finish line, time and time again. “I want our athletes to have that determination to never give up,” he says.

…Excerpt from NYRR feature on John Wiltshire.


Dues & Other Costs

For the 2014-15 season we have instituted a new fee structure that is more comprehensive with fewer requests for additional fees. An annual application fee pays for a child’s membership on the team and covers uniforms, insurance, race fees and administrative items. The specific fees are as follows:

• New Members $250-(Includes team uniform, league membership/insurance/ season event entries)
• Existing Members with Apparel $120
• Existing Members without Apparel $120 plus apparel cost
• Spring New Joiners (April-July) $200

Please note that member fees do not cover all team expenses; some costs will be met through our fund raising efforts and donations.


The team practices at the East Sixth Street Track on Wednesdays at 5:30 – 6:30 pm and Sundays at 9:30 – 11:00 am. As the weather gets cooler we will move indoors. We participate in NYRR and USATF indoor, cross-country and outdoor events on weekend Saturdays or Sundays from September through early July. The season is divided into three phases.

The first phase runs from September through December where athletes focus on the fundamentals of track and field using formal and informal exercises designed to increase skills, improve awareness and build strength. All practice sessions are held at the East Sixth Street Track. Athletes participate in indoor track meets, cross-country events and road races.

The second phase runs from December through March where the focus is on applying the skills from the previous learning. Practice sessions are held indoors and athletes continue to progressively improve their form and increase their flexibility, strength and agility. The shift is primarily to indoor events with some road events in the March timeframe.

The third phase of our season runs from March through June with some events in July. All practice sessions move back to the East Sixth Street Track. The focus is on outdoor track meets, cross-country events and road races. This is the most active and demanding phase of our season.

Athletes will generally participate in racing events during the season. Periodic developmental events will be used to assess individual strengths and set individual and team goals.


Runners and their Parents and/or Guardians must sign the Rules and Expectations Document before a runner is allowed to participate in practice sessions or meets. Our program requires dedication and commitment from our athletes and their parents/caregivers. By joining the team athletes are signifying that they will:

  • Attend practice sessions regularly and participate in team events.
  • Maintain a healthy diet that includes regular meals, healthy snacks and staying well hydrated – drinking lots of water.
  • Get lots of sleep to restore energy levels and aid in recovery after workouts.
  • Do well at school. Schoolwork is of the highest importance.
  • Be on time for practice and meets.
  • Give 100% effort at all times.
  • Support teammates through encouragement and positive interactions.
  • Measure accomplishment not just through placement in events but by other means as well (personal records, trying new events, etc.).
  • Respect teammates, coaches and parents; especially other runners on the track.
  • Complete goal sheets to support development of time management and goal-setting skills.
Parents and other caregivers are a vital part of the team. They are expected to:
  • Be supportive and respectful of all the coaches.
  • Support of our views of healthy eating and living.
  • Volunteer their time that can include chaperoning our young athletes to meets and events, writing grant proposals, fundraising for the team, and more.

Five Points Runners Track Club, Inc.

Welcome to the Lower East Side Five Points Runners track club. Now moving into our third season we continue to provide children, primarily on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, the opportunity to train and compete in track, field and long distance events. The team welcomes children of all abilities from the ages of 7-13. Our primary goal is to promote an atmosphere of mutual respect while engaged in athletic activity; however, we also aim to:

  • Allow children to learn and display the values of sportsmanship, dedication, desire, discipline, and tenacity.
  • Enable quality training and competition that ensures optimal performance with minimal disruption to their academic and social lives.
  • Provide a meaningful athletic experience that will create a positive lifelong impression.
  • Ensure an environment that guarantees the health, safety, and welfare of our children.
  • Allow children to learn at their own pace and have fun while doing so.

Our season runs from September through July and covers the Indoor, Cross-country and Outdoor events in the tri-state area (USATF Region 1).