DIRECTORS

Judy Wexler
President


Judy is the founder of iRun4Life. Her love of running coupled with the rising trend of childhood obesity lead her to create iRun4Life in 2008. She started the noncompetitive, after school running program at her children's elementary school—Bridge Valley in Furlong, PA. Her mission is to motivate young girls and boys to go outside and have fun exercising with their family and friends. She strongly believes that running and eating healthy help children focus better in school, and gives them self confidence to challenge themselves in and out of school.

Judy has overseen the growth of iRun4Life which is now in 10 school districts in both PA and NJ.

Judy also writes grants for iRun4Life and has been awarded several running grants — Saucony's Run for Good Grant,  New York Road Runner's Event to Run Grant, Kids Run the Nation Grant, and Foundations Partnership in Youth Grant. Judy also started the iRun4Life's Gives Back Program where iRun4Life affiliated schools fundraise for low income schools in need of new exercise and recess equipment.

It is Judy's goal to expand iRun4Life's running program into as many elementary schools as possible so that all children have an opportunity to experience the joy of running and healthy nutrition.

Judy and her family live in Jamison, PA. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting at Franklin and Marshall College, and an MBA in marketing at Syracuse University. She has run many races including marathons and half marathons, and enjoys sharing her love of exercise and healthy nutrition with her husband and two children.


Nikolai Derek
School Outreach Director


Nikolai joined iRun4Life in March 2019. He is now excited to be moving into the role of iRun4Life School Outreach Director. Nikolai is excited to work with many current and new iRun4Life schools as he supports the after school running programs and directors at each school. Nikolai has dedicated hundreds of hours in helping his community. He actively supports Autism Cares and Athletes Helping Athletes. Furthermore, he co-founded the PA Rush Thunder Program based in Doylestown. When he is not volunteering, Nikolai is an active entrepreneur having created many of his own companies. He can also be found coaching travel soccer, developing apps, and engaging in the start up sector.

Nikolai looks forward to bringing his high-spirited attitude and work ethic as he helps the iRun4Life organization expand into more school districts. As the iRun4Life School Outreach Director, Nikolai will be an active member in all our runner communities. When not assisting iRun4Life schools, you will find Nikolai managing and developing the iRun4Life running app which can be found on both Apple and Google stores.


Jessica DeRose
Gives Back Coordinator


Jessica is a High School Biology teacher turned stay at home mom of two active boys. She is also a Registered Children's Yoga Teacher who feels strongly about the importance of giving our children the tools to become resilient adults by teaching them the skills of self awareness and mindfulness. As the iRun4Life School Director at Bucks County Montessori Charter School she hopes to empower students to take care of their bodies through fitness and nutrition. As the iRun4Life Gives Back Coordinator she hopes to continue the tradition of helping students from low income schools stay active and healthy by providing their school with new and innovative physical education equipment.

Jessica also holds a Trauma-informed yoga for Youth certification which enables her to address and support symptoms of trauma. She aims to help youth build resilience by connecting students with inner resources that help them work through their discomfort, understand their experience, and separate their feelings from their actions.

Jessica believes in trying new things, learning to "practice" rather than trying to be perfect and most of all, being able to laugh through the whole experience. She loves spending time outdoors with her family and dog, gardening and reading a good book.


Karen M. Rider
Administrative & Communications Manager

Karen oversees the administrative and communications functions associated with the iRun4Life School Programs and the annual 3K race. She works closely with our founder, board members, school directors, and volunteers. Karen brings many years of experience in marketing communications, health writing, and event management to her role at iRun4Life.

Karen began her career in the fitness industry coaching people of all ages and abilities in both group and one-to-one fitness and nutrition programs, eventually moving up to fitness director. She has also worked in the nonprofit sector and higher education where she managed health promotion programs and taught undergraduate courses in health science and psychology. When her daughters were very young, Karen launched a communications consulting business. She has published hundreds of articles and created content for a variety of blogs and websites. Karen holds a B.S. in Exercise Science from Penn State and an M.A. in Psychology from University of Hartford.

Karen shares life's adventures with her husband and two teen daughters. They have lived in quite a few states during the last few years. Wherever they have landed, Karen has volunteered in schools and with community organizations (including dressing in full cosplay as Maleficent and Bellatrix LeStrange for fundraisers!). In 2019, they moved to Doylestown from Tampa Bay, Florida. Together, the family enjoys trekking new trails by bike or boot—from the Grand Canyon to Rickett's Glen to the intercoastal trails of Tampa Bay. All together, Karen's family is very athletic—with two avid runners, a soccer player, a dancer, and one Peloton fanatic in the house!


"I love the relays best. I have enjoyed 5 fun years."
– Caroline, 6th grade


"I've improved my 5K run time - I learned to pace myself."
– Mike, 6th grade


"This running program has given my son a new interest in life!"
– 4th grade parent


"The one who ran with my 5th grader complimented him on his stride and technique and then said he should "totally run track" at West."
– 5th grade parent


"You encouraged me to love running when I never did before…thank you!"
– Hailey, 4th grade


"Thank you for making a difference in so many children’s lives."
– Nick, 3rd grade


We love the iRun4Life program. It is absolutely wonderful.
Mom of 2nd grader


"Relax when you are running; most importantly eat healthy!"
– Molly, 4th grade


"My son Danny is in autistic support and he just loves this running club - he fits in so nicely."
– 5th grade parent


"iRun4Life made me a better runner."
– Allison, 4th grade


"Thank you for a great time. I had fun running."
– Jack, 3rd grade


"That’s me in the picture winning the race! Thank you for helping me train."
– Egan, 6th grade


"I used to hate running, now I realize how much fun it is."
– Kylie, 2nd grade


"You give us so much cheering power, I could do a whole mile!"
– Tara, 3rd grade


"I am proud to say I was involved in this program."
– Joshua, 5th grade


"You really made me feel like I accomplished something big. – as in running my first 5K!"
– Brooke, 4th grade


"Thank you! I had really fun running with everyone!"
– Roshan, 5th grade


"I enjoyed running every mile and loved to see my friends with a smile."
– Christina, 2nd grade


"Being in the program has improved my skill to run longer and faster in my sports."
– Mira, 6th grade


"Running is very good exercise."
– Jeremy, 2nd grade


“Go over, go under, go around, or go through. But never give up.”
– Anonymous