SoleMate Spotlight: Patricia Tirona

Today we are shining a spotlight on Patricia Tirona! Patricia is an avid runner, and is one of the captains and co-organizers of the established NYC local running group Dashing Whippets. Patricia will be running the 2017 Boston Marathon as a Girls on the Run NYC SoleMate!

Why did you decide to become a SoleMate and fundraise to support Girls on the Run NYC?
When I raced the NYRR Mini 10K for the first time in 2010 it was heart-warming and inspiring to see so many little girls and young women cheering on the course. At the end I asked a lot of them if seeing all of us run made them want to race as well and everyone said yes! My running team, the Dashing Whippets, as well as my running community is comprised of so many strong and dedicated women of all ages and backgrounds who inspire me daily with their running accomplishments. It goes without saying the support and camaraderie we get from the male runners who train and race with us is instrumental in our success. My hope is that young girls see what my friends, teammates, and I are doing, the strong friendships born of the sport, and want to be a part of this community.

Why did you decide to run the Boston Marathon?
For many runners, running a Boston Qualifying time is a goal that motivates them during their training. I can't deny how exciting it was to cross the finish line and hit the required BQ time in some recent races. I want to represent Girls on the Run during the 2017 Boston Marathon because it's symbolic of what consistent work and especially incredible support from my running community has helped me accomplish.

What does the Girls on the Run mission mean to you?
This is on the Girls on the Run website and it's a powerful statement, "Girls on the Run inspires girls to take charge of their lives and define the future on their terms." Accomplishing training and race goals gives girls and young women the confidence that extends far beyond running. It can be a key step in knowing and believing the sky's the limit. I look up to so many of the women in my running community and what they have accomplished in their careers, their personal lives, and how many go above and beyond to raise awareness in their own charitable work. I'm so grateful to be surrounded by these examples and Girls on the Run gives these young girls the opportunity to form bonds like this with their running mates and meet incredible girls and women who will hopefully inspire them too.

Tell us a little bit about your running history!
In August 2009, the NYC Half was the very first race I'd ever done. I hadn't yet met other runners and winged my way through a training plan. It worked and I crossed the finish line with a finishing time of 1:52. I had cleared my goal of both finishing and hitting a sub 2-hour time. In 2010 I would find the Dashing Whippets via Meetup and begin going to their Central Park practices. I became one of the captains and co-organizers the same year. I have met my closest friends through the team and running community and we travel literally everywhere to race and run. I've since been fortunate enough to have qualified for Boston, run in Tokyo, and trained while on vacation in Rio.

Favorite post-run snack?
Cocktail peanuts and pretzels!  I love the combo of salt and fat.

Favorite place to run in NYC?
I just moved to Brooklyn in January 2016 and since then I have a favorite run that takes me through Red Hook and Brooklyn Bridge Park. Being by the water in Red Hook at sunset never gets old. Every sunset run down by the water takes my breath away and reminds me to be thankful for having found the sport.

Favorite time of day to run?
Definitely sunset.

Any other fun facts you want to share?
I get a little (okay a lot) overzealous whenever I meet someone who tells me they want to start running. I immediately tell them about some of my favorite, incredible success stories from my team and let them know with hard work they can reach their goals. Hannah Ursillo, Megan Jones, Adam Balfour, and Martina DiMarco - these are the runners whose stories I tell the most!

Thanks, Patricia! If you'd like to support Patricia in her fundraising efforts, you can visit her fundraising page here.