SoleMate Spotlight: Kelsey Stokes

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Long time volunteer, Coach and SoleMate Kelsey joined our Team SoleMates this spring for the 2019 New York City Half Marathon. Read about her experience here:

Thinking back to race day: what was your favorite part of the race?

I loved the energy of the crowd when we came off the Manhattan Bridge and into Chinatown. The cheers and support - and, of course, the confetti cannons - really helped give me a little boost halfway through the race.

What were you thinking as you crossed the finish line?

I felt so many emotions when I crossed the finish line: elation, pride, a bit of relief. I was so excited to have surpassed both my SoleMates fundraising and race goals.

How did you prepare for race day?

I ran about 30-40 miles / week and did yoga and strength training regularly, as well. Weekly long runs were an opportunity for me to practice my race routine and make sure I had a clear sense of what would work for me on race day.

Why did you choose to run this race for Girls on the Run NYC?

Serving as a GOTR coach in the past made me appreciate just how meaningful each donation is. I knew as soon as I was accepted in the lottery that I wanted to race for GOTR NYC and raise money to support the program.

What is your #1 fundraising tip for other SoleMates?

Fundraising was far less intimidating than I had anticipated. Once you make the pitch, you’d be surprised how many people are willing to donate. Start early, get creative and make it personal.

At Girls on the Run, we envision a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams. What does this vision mean to you?

To me, the GOTR vision is about setting big goals, believing in yourself and not letting anyone else tell you otherwise.

Tell us: what’s your favorite running route?

My favorite long run route is along the Brooklyn waterfront: from Williamsburg, to the Navy Yard, through DUMBO and Brooklyn Bridge Park, down to Red Hook and back.

Congratulations and thank you, Kelsey!