EDITOR’S NOTE: Each Sunday, The New Orleans Advocate is following three local runners during the course of their training for the Allstate Sugar Bowl Crescent City Classic.

Thomas Schiffer came across a quote recently that he said goes hand in hand with the message he hopes to impart by running this year’s Allstate Sugar Bowl Crescent City Classic.

“It’s easier to prevent bad habits than it is to break them.”

Those words of wisdom, attributed to Benjamin Franklin, resonate with Schiffer as he prepares for the 10-kilometer road race scheduled for April 4. He has shared them with his students at Belle Chasse Academy, and he said they go “hand- in hand” with the mission of the Kelly Gibson Foundation; which promotes healthy living, exercise, and nutrition to the youth of New Orleans.

Schiffer is running his first CCC to raise awareness of the foundation. Though he is a healthy individual (fitness trainer, tennis coach, boot camp instructor at a local YMCA,) Schiffer knows that setting good examples for his students (and his own children,) can make a difference.

“The popularity of fitness and health is growing right now,” the 44-year old Algiers resident said. “Especially with the kids; they get so excited about taking care of their bodies. They train the mind in the classroom, and they train the body outside of it. The look in their eyes when they realize they are in control of their health and how they feel, is just great. They have no limits.”

Schiffer has been pushing his own body to get in optimum shape for the Classic. He has been training approximately 15 hours per week, and he tested his performance in the Shamrockin’ Run 8K which took place on March 15 in New Orleans. His chip time for that event was 45 minutes, 23 seconds — a mark that pleased him.

“I started off with a pretty fast group that was going about 8 minutes per mile,” he said. “I stayed with them for a few miles, but then I began to slow up a little bit. But when I got to the end, I felt great. I thought maybe I could do a bit better, but then I told myself to be happy with what I had just done. It was about a 9:20 clip overall (and that’s where I thought I would be heading into the Classic.)”

The 37th annual CCC will be Schiffer’s first foray into New Orleans’ most-popular road race. He said he is extremely excited heading into the event, which is expected to register more than 25,000 people by race day.

“I feel very confident about the 10K distance,” Schiffer said. “I’ve worked hard and think it’s going to be fun. It’s definitely going to be great just to go out and do it.”

For more information on the Crescent City Classic, go online to www.ccc10k.com. To sponsor Schiffer and the Kelly Gibson Foundation during the CCC, go to www.bit.ly/19GTdEP.