Today we're shining a special spotlight on our 2017 TCS New York City Marathon SoleMate, Angela Singh! Angela is running her first marathon for Girls on the Run NYC.
Why did you decide to be a SoleMate for the NYC Marathon and fundraise for Girls on the Run?
I’ve wanted to run for the NYC Marathon, as it’s been a dream for a while, and when I saw people finish the NYC Marathon last year, I was inspired to set this race as a goal, not just tuck it away on my “bucket list.” I did some research before the marathon, and the moment I found out that Girls on the Run was an organization for which people could run/raise funds, I was ecstatic! I’ve been working with Girls on the Run since 2015, when I first was introduced to it, and I knew that raising funds for this organization would give meaning to training for and completing this race.
What does the Girls on the Run mission mean to you?
I love that Girls on the Run teaches young girls the skills to be confident, successful, and strong, all through running. It’s so important for girls to feel empowered and confident at a young age, and elementary/middle school can be challenging and confusing times for girls, since they are constantly surrounded by media that tells them what is cool or how to be beautiful. Girls on the Run teaches girls about their self-worth and that they are so much stronger than they think. By running for them, I myself have learned how to be a better person, both mentally and physically. This organization has taught me about the joys of running and how to be confident in myself.
Is this your first marathon?
Yes, this is my first marathon! I’m really excited to run this, because it’s been a dream for a while to be able to complete a marathon, and to run it in the city that I love? Even better!
Favorite place to run?
I usually run in Riverside Park and then continue on Cherry Walk, going downtown as far as I can and then looping back. During races, I like running in Central Park, varying my loops to keep things exciting, and yes, I’ve even come to appreciate Harlem Hill!
Favorite time of day to run?
I like running in the early morning, right before the sun rises. There aren’t too many people out there, so it’s just you and the open road. You can go as fast (or as slow) as you want, there’s no one to judge you. After running, I also feel like I’ve earned that morning coffee Frappuccino from Starbucks!
Favorite post-run snack/meal?
Nesquik chocolate milk – it’s the perfect amount of carbs and protein after those long runs, and the colder it is, the more refreshing it is.
Favorite running accessory?
It’s a tie between my Garmin Forerunner 235, which keeps me on track while running, and my iPod shuffle – all my jams are on there, and it helps me get into my “zone” while running.
Favorite pump-up running song?
“Stressed Out,” by Twenty One Pilots. It’s an awesome song that has a great beat for running, and I can feel myself running faster every time it begins to play.
Group or solo run?
Personally, I like running solo. Since I’m a bit slow (10:30/11:00 min/mile pace), I like having my own time to get into my “zone.” [Editor's note: your healthy pace is awesome!]
When you get tired, what makes you keep running?
I think of the reasons why I got into running in the first place and look back on how much it’s helped my health. I remember the girls and the mission of Girls on the Run, which helps to keep me going.
Tell us a little bit about your running history!
When I was younger, I used to hate running, instead focusing on sports that worked on the upper arms, like softball. However, about 17 months ago, I was overweight and not athletic at all. I was almost on the verge of becoming diabetic, so I made a promise to myself and my family that for my health, I’d lose weight. From that moment on, I spent the summer of 2016 running a 5K everyday on the treadmill, changed my diet, and since then I’ve lost 45+ pounds! Running became a hobby of mine after that summer. A high point of my running career happened this past January, when I finished my first half marathon in Disneyland, and since the beginning of 2017, I’ve done many various NYRR races (5Ks, 10Ks, etc) and 7 half-marathons (my most recent one I ran for Team Project Purple).
What do you do besides running to keep yourself healthy, confident and joyful?
I make sure my diet is balanced and mainly sugar-less, which definitely helped in my journey to lose weight. Recently, I’ve taken up Flywheel classes, and have truly enjoyed cycling indoors as a way to substitute some running sessions. To destress, I knit, read, visit museums, listen to music, and see movies.
Any other fun facts you want to share?
I’m currently a student at Columbia University, working on my masters in Biomedical Engineering. I was also an undergraduate at Columbia, and a member of the Iota Chapter of Gamma Phi Beta while I was there. Through GPhi, my sisters and I were very involved with Girls on the Run, from being coaches for the girls during their training season to cheering them on at the end, when they’d finish their season by running a 5K. I’m also a proud NYCFC fan, and a huge Star Wars nerd.
What words of encouragement would you share with a girl starting with Girls on the Run?
One quote that I keep in my head while running is that “No matter how fast or slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch.” The moment you get out there, you’re a runner! Don’t worry about your speed or your time, it’s all about the strength to finish.
Any fundraising tips for fellow SoleMates?
Share your fundraising link to Facebook, Instagram, and share the reason why you’re running with your friends and family. Post special milestones you reach in fundraising, or when you’re about to reach a milestone…who knows? You might get an extra donation from your friends or family just to reach that milestone!
Thank you for all your support of Girls on the Run, Angela! If you want to donate to Angela's fundraising efforts, click here.