Today we are shining the spotlight on Lydia Gray, who ran the NYC Half Marathon as a SoleMate on behalf of Girls on the Run!
Why did you decide to become a SoleMate and fundraise to support Girls on the Run?
I truly believe in the program. I first joined as a coach for one of the homeless shelter sites and immediately saw the impact of the curriculum on these girls. The curriculum design created a sense of community, shared respect and ultimately gave them an outlet to have fun and feel good about themselves.
Why did you decide to run the NYC Half Marathon?
I love this half marathon - you feel like you are the only person in the city. You truly get to enjoy all NYC has to offer for its residents without the hustle and bustle of the normal workday.
What does the Girls on the Run mission mean to you?
I want to be part of something that instills confidence, respect and team-building in young adolescent girls. With some many external factors that can impact the girls' confidence and respect for each other, I like the idea of creating a community to build it and maintain it throughout the rest of their schooling experience. I feel this community enables them to believe that these girls can do whatever these girls want - if they put their minds to it. Especially with the support of this community.
Tell us a little bit about your running history!
My father runs every day so he got me hooked on the exercise. I find running is a way to gain perspective as well as a social activity with my friends. I do my best thinking when I am running!
What do you do besides running to keep yourself healthy, confident, and joyful?
I participate in various workout classes with my friends as well as try to ski and play tennis each year. I also tend to surround myself with friends who enjoy the same type of active activities.
Favorite place to run in New York City?
West Side Highway!
Favorite time of day to run?
The morning - the view is the prettiest :)
Any other fun facts you want to share?
I have two different color eyes - one brown and one blue.
What words of encouragement would you share with a girl starting with Girls on the Run?
The community is here to support you and help you develop the confidence, determination and respect you need to accomplish your dreams!
Lydia raised $1,600 for Girls on the Run this year! Thank you, Lydia, and congratulations on a race well run!