SoleMate Spotlight: Emily Kaplan

Emily Kaplan-GOTR NYC Marathon SoleMate.jpg

Today we feature native New Yorker, Emily, a Girls on the Run 2014 NYC Marathon SoleMate!

Tell us about you!
I grew up in Larchmont, NY, part of Westchester County. I currently live in the East Village in NYC, it is an awesome neighborhood! I work on consumer brand marketing for a PR firm called Edelman.

When did you start running and why?
I guess I first started "running" in elementary school during gym class. We had a mini track and ran relay races and sprints. I was faster than all the boys and loved to remind them about it :). Years later, I continued running track & field as a sprinter casually in high school and also played soccer.

I hardly exercised in college and when I moved to NYC, I was excited to reestablish the healthy lifestyle I had in high school. My mom is an avid runner -- she has run multiple marathons and is my inspiration for running this year! -- and I had always wanted to run longer distances.
I began jogging around my neighborhood, first just a few miles. Soon, I was exploring other parts of the city and Central Park. I loved the release it provided from work and other stresses. It was also a great way to learn my way around town while shedding a few pounds! I eventually worked my way up to half marathons and now my first full. I can't imagine my life without running now.

Why did you choose to support Girls on the Run?
I wanted to fundraise for an organization that I could personally connect to. I am so thankful for the opportunities I had growing up -- from that first race in elementary school, to soccer, to summer camp. Those activities taught me teamwork, the importance of exercise and healthy living, and how setting and conquering goals builds character. I would not be the same without running and sports.

Many girls around the country (and world!) don't get these same opportunities, but Girls on the Run is solving that problem. If we can develop more headstrong and healthy women, we can address many other societal issues.

What tips do you have for other marathoners and SoleMates?
Where do I start! I feel like as a "runner," you are inducted into an unofficial club that constantly gives and receives advice. I'll share a couple of tips from myself and the other runners in my life:

  1. "Do strength building classes and moves, like Boot Camp/HIIT, lunges and squats, starting months before your actual training. This will give your muscles power to withstand the mileage!" - Tip from me
  2. "Don't focus too much on pace. Adrenaline will take over on race day and you'll run faster than you think!" - Tip from my friend Nicole, also running the NYC Marathon!
  3. "If I did it, you can do it, because you're awesome just like me. And eat crackers along the way - Gu will irritate your tummy after a while." - Tip from my mom...typical mom comments :)

Thank you for your support, Emily - and for your great tips!

If you're interested in supporting Emily, check out her SoleMates fundraising page here!