Today we're shining a spotlight on Julie, a SoleMate who's running in the Half Marathon while also raising funds for GOTR programming! Julie, we are excited to see you at the Half Marathon and grateful for your support to help us reach more girls!
Why did you decide to be a SoleMate for the NYC Half Marathon and fundraise for Girls on the Run?
I was a GOTR coach last season and was interested in any additional ways I could help support the organization. When I learned that I could run the NYC Half and benefit Girls on the Run at the same time, it was a no brainer.
What does the Girls on the Run mission mean to you?
I have been a runner for practically my whole life, and feel that it can be such an empowering and constructive outlet for kids and adults. I wholeheartedly believe that the way Girls on the Run combines a running-based program with their social/emotional curriculum is genius - helping to reinforce the tools girls need to build confidence, joy and healthy habits while at the same time (hopefully) helping to instill a lifelong love of running which will in turn reinforce all those tools- it's the one-two punch of success!
Favorite place to run?
If we're talking locally, then Central Park hands down. It's such a special place, and so many unknown trails to discover if you get off the beaten path.
Favorite time of day to run?
I usually run first thing in the morning, or right after I drop the kids at school. Although a sunset run every once in a while is pretty awesome.
Favorite post-run snack/meal?
Kombucha- such a great replenisher and thirst quencher, especially if it's warm out.
Favorite running accessory?
Swear by my Spy belt for keys, money, etc.
Favorite pump-up running song?
Although I'm a huge music lover, I don't listen while I run.
Group or solo run?
Solo- not because I oppose a group run, just too tough to coordinate.
When you get tired, what makes you keep running?
That's when music comes in, I usually sing to myself when I'm struggling a bit.
Tell us a little bit about your running history!
As a kid, I was always athletic, but I didn't really have the technical skills to excel at at any specific sport, so I think I gravitated to running as a great equalizing option. As I got older, aside from loving running as such an accessible and low-maintenance option to keep physically healthy, I truly believe it's amazing for your emotional health as well. When I am stressed or upset about something, going for a run is my therapy session and religion.
What do you do besides running to keep yourself healthy, confident and joyful?
For exercise, I love boxing- it's a fun stress relief, and makes you feel so powerful! Other than that, I try to maintain a relatively balanced diet; spend time with my friends and family; and enjoy nature as much as possible - even if that just means taking a walk instead of taking the subway.
What words of encouragement would you share with a girl starting with Girls on the Run?
Have fun and enjoy yourself! It doesn't matter how many laps you run each practice, as long as you feel good about the fact that you've tried your best.
Any fundraising tips for fellow SoleMates?
Think about what inspires you the most about GOTR because that will come through in your fundraising appeals. For me I couldn't imagine how anyone wouldn't give at least $35 to provide a pair of running shoes to a girl who needs them - I saw two girls on my team benefit from donated shoes, and it was really special to know I was helping other girls like them get new shoes.
Thank you for all your support of Girls on the Run, Julie! If you want to donate to Julie 's fundraising efforts, click here.