We're shining a spotlight on our 2017 TCS New York City Marathon SoleMate, Amanda O'Malley! Amanda grew up in Boston, enjoys watching The Office, works at IBM, and is running her second marathon!
Why did you decide to be a SoleMate for the NYC Marathon and fundraise for Girls on the Run?
I'd love more than anything to be a volunteer coach for Girls on the Run, but my schedule doesn't allow for it. Once I heard that another way I can contribute to the cause was raising money as a SoleMate, and that over 60% of the girls in the program are only able to participate due to scholarships and financial aid, I was completely sold!
What does the Girls on the Run mission mean to you?The mission of Girls on the Run is so simple, yet has profound implications for a young girl in a formative period of her life. Middle school is a challenging and confusing time for girls. Surrounded by media that has a fairly singular point of view on what being beautiful or cool looks like, girls need people like Girls on the Run coaches telling them that their self-worth is so much more than what you see on Instagram. Having self-confidence starting from a young age provides the foundation for a healthy future; for instance, asking for that raise at work or being a good friend to someone you care about.
Tell us about your marathon history:
This is my 2nd marathon. I ran Boston in 2016 for Team UNICEF. [Editor's note: way to go Amanda, supporting great causes while you run!]
Favorite place to run?
Along the West Side Highway and around Battery Park City.
Favorite time of day to run?
NYC is so beautiful when the sunset reflects off the buildings.
Favorite post-run snack/meal?
Burrito, smoothie, stir-fry, really anything, along with a bottle of Gatorade!
Favorite running accessory?
Favorite pump-up running song?
"Danza Kuduro" by Don Omar
Group or solo run?
Start out with a group so you're accountable for showing up, then run alone so you can take as many bathroom breaks as you need :)
Tell us a little bit about your running history!
I was the co-captain of my high school cross country team, then kept up running by doing half marathons every year or so during college with friends. I went to Colby College in Waterville, Maine, and those surrounding hills were killer! I ran my first marathon at age 24 in Boston and it was an incredibly emotional race since Boston is my hometown. I grew up watching the marathon runners on TV and in person and remember thinking how utterly crazy they all were. Even after 2013, the runners and supporters who keep showing up to that finish line in record numbers are indicative of our city's strength and character. Loved every minute of it!
What do you do besides running to keep yourself healthy, confident and joyful?
Hot yoga is great for staying loose, and my boyfriend and I are learning how to kiteboard...in NYC...lol. It's fun and very humbling.
Any other fun facts you want to share?
I was born in Beijing, China and moved here when I was a year and a half old. I cried so much on the flight over to the US that the flight attendants put my parents and me in first class so I didn't disturb everyone else. My evil plan worked!
What words of encouragement would you share with a girl starting with Girls on the Run?
This organization is awesome, and the mission is something that everyone can get behind!
Any fundraising tips for fellow SoleMates?
Find friends who work at companies who match donations, set up happy hours, and don't be afraid to ask! It's for a great cause!
Thank you for all your support of Girls on the Run, Amanda! If you want to donate to Amanda's fundraising efforts, click here. You can also follow Amanda's journey to the marathon via Twitter @aomalley2370.