Today we're shining a spotlight on Hayley, a SoleMate who's running in the TCS New York City Marathon while also raising funds for GOTR programming! Hayley, we are so excited to see you at the Marathon and we are grateful for your support to help us reach more girls!
What does the Girls on the Run mission mean to you?
GOTR’s vision of a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams is something that really stuck out to me – although girls may be learning lessons now, these lessons and values the girls are learning will be applicable for the rest of their lives. Building a foundation of self-confidence and self-empowerment, especially in today’s times, really means limitless potential!
Why did you decide to be a SoleMate for the NYC Marathon and fundraise for Girls on the Run?
I had the pleasure of working a GOTR 5k event and became hooked on the mission statement of providing a program that inspires girls to be the best they can be through running. Growing up near NYC it’s always been my dream to run the NYC marathon one day, so here I am boldly pursuing my dreams!!
Tell us a little bit about your running history! Why do you run?
While I am technically past my ‘glory days’, I played basketball my entire life (even through college!). After I graduated I needed something to fill that athletic void that basketball had previously occupied, and I found my way to running. I run to challenge myself – there is nothing quite like the feeling of setting a new goal and accomplishing it!
Favorite place to run? Or Favorite pump-up running song?
You can usually find me running up/down the West Side Highway. After signing up for the marathon with GOTR I’m pretty sure I’ve added ‘Run the World (Girls)’ by Beyonce to every playlist I’ve ran to!
Is this your first marathon? If no, how many have you run?
This will be my first!
If people could give you energy awards while you were running the marathon which would you want for an energy boost?
ALL would be welcome, but *Superstar* would pump me up!
What do you do besides running to keep yourself healthy, confident, and joyful?
I love all sports, but my favorite type of sports to play are team sports. I play in a few basketball and soccer leagues around NYC with friends.
Who do you look up to?
I look up to the GOAT athlete, Serena Williams. Throughout her illustrious career she’s faced countless examples of adversity and has continued to rise (and remain) at the top of the competition. Even more importantly, she is more than just an athlete, and uses her voice to address inequalities.
Who has impacted your life the most and encouraged you to be your beautiful, healthy, and courageous self?
My mom, Sabrina!! My mom worked her way to the top of her company in the male-dominated industry of Construction, all while never missing one of my basketball games. She taught me that nothing was unachievable- no ceiling too high, no goal too lofty.
Any fundraising tips for fellow SoleMates?
Through this process I learned that some companies sponsor ‘corporate matches’ for donations their employees make, which was HUGE.
What words of encouragement would you share with a girl starting with Girls on the Run?
I would tell her the same thing my old basketball coach told me, “Play hard, play smart, have fun!”. Be prepared to learn, work hard, and have fun all at once.
What advice would you give yourself at 10 years old?
Invent this thing called the iPhone… apparently people will love it. Kidding… I would tell myself to not worry what the ‘popular’ kids are doing – changing who you are to please people is never the answer.
Thank you for all your support of Girls on the Run, Hayley! If you want to donate to Hayley's fundraising efforts, click here.