SoleMate Spotlight: Crystal Parker

Crystal Parker is one of our 2015 NYC Marathon SoleMates! From Alva, Oklahoma (home of the fighting Goldbugs!), Crystal enjoys rooting for the Oklahoma Sooners, discovering new restaurants in Brooklyn, and spending time with her husband and their angry cat Elvis. Crystal ran the NYC Half Marathon with Girls on the Run in March, so this will be her second time running as a SoleMate.

What motivated you to run this race for Girls on the Run NYC?
In the spring I ran the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, which is held in honor of those who died in the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. After running Oklahoma, where I grew up, I knew I wanted to run NYC, which has been my home for the last 11 years, and I could not think of a better group to run with than Girls on the Run!

How did you get involved with Girls on the Run?
I heard about Girls on the Run from a friend whose daughter was part of the program in Kansas. I started reading up on the program and was so inspired by all of the great work Girls on the Run does!

NYC is the best city on earth. Nothing can beat an early morning run through Central Park and knowing that you are doing it for Girls on the Run and that your teammates, even if you don't know them, are doing the same is really motivational!

What inspires you about working with Girls on the Run?
Every person I have met at Girls on the Run genuinely cares about making a difference for the girls they serve. Knowing that I can help them through my SoleMates fundraising is a huge motivation.

Training for the NYC Marathon is not that different than training for the 5k's the Girls on the Run participants run. At first it seems impossible, but, when you set your goal and commit yourself to working towards it, you learn that you can do this. And, like the Girls on the Run participants, the SoulMates team is lucky to have the support of the Girls on the Run team!

What is your favorite running accessory?
My iPod! I am not sure how some people run without music – I am not one of those people. I definitely count on my embarrassing mix of early 2000's pop music to get me moving.  

What is your favorite run in NYC?
My favorite run each year is getting to run Summer Streets in August. Being able to run down the middle of some of NYC's biggest streets all the way from the Upper East Side to the Brooklyn Bridge is a great chance to see the city while knocking out some of those training miles!

“My favorite part of being a SoleMate is knowing that my training and running this marathon will help other people. Running can be a very solitary exercise. Being a SoleMate makes you part of a community.”

Thank you for your dedication, Crystal!

You can support Crystal by visiting her fundraising campaign page here:
Crystal’s Fundraising Page