SoleMate Spotlight: 'SoleSisters' Krystal & Jackie

We're shining a special spotlight on our 2017 TCS New York City Marathon 'SoleSister' SoleMates, Krystal Shannon & Jackie Cassidy! This will be Krystal's fifth and Jackie's fourth marathon.

Why are you a SoleMate for the NYC Marathon, fundraising for Girls on the Run?

Krystal: A few years ago, I was a running buddy for Girls on the Run and personally saw the benefits of the program. It was such a touching experience and I want to help more girls have the opportunity to be a part of the phenomenal program.

Jackie: I believe in Girls on the Run's mission and working on becoming a coach this spring at a middle school that I work in.

What does the Girls on the Run mission mean to you? 

Krystal: I truly believe in empowering girls to seek the best version of themselves! Through running, the girls learn to push themselves, gain confidence and achieve goals.

Jackie: Girls on the Run's mission is personal. Growing up, I wasn't a confident young girl and would have really enjoyed and benefited - both physically and emotionally - from the activities that focus on building confidence and character. I am so excited to not only fundraise for Girls on the Run to provide this opportunity for a young girl, but also to coach them to help them grow into their own.  

And now, a few rapid fire questions for the sisters... Favorite place to run?

Krystal: Around my neighborhood with my girlfriends or husband.
Jackie: Any place with hills.

Favorite time of day to run?

Krystal: Early morning runs starting between 4:30 and 5.
Jackie: Morning.

Favorite post-run snack/meal?

Krystal: Chocolate milk and fruit.
Jackie: Eggs - scrambled or hard boiled.

Group or solo run?

Krystal: Group
Jackie: Group - I joined my local Girls on the Run SoleMate team (Greenville, SC).

Tell us a little bit about your running history!

Krystal: I started training for my first race, the Cooper River Bridge 10K in 2008. While I was training, I fell in love with running. I have completed about 30 races ranging from 5k to 50k. My early morning runs are my favorite way to start my morning. It is my time to prepare for the day ahead of me. I love that every run is a new challenge and gives me a sense of accomplishment.

Jackie: All I can say is my sister made me do it. I was never a runner until my sister "made" me sign up for a half marathon after my nephew was born 7 years ago. After that, she convinced my to do the Disney Marathon. I have to admit, I was hooked after that and completed two Chicago marathons. Unfortunately, due to injuries I hung up my shoes and focused on other activities. Despite this, Krystal convinced me to enter the lottery for the NYC Marathon and the rest is history, or at least it will be.

What do you do besides running to keep yourself healthy, confident and joyful?

Krystal: As part of my cross training, I attend a free workout group called FiA (Females in Action). It is a wonderful group of supportive women who lift each other up and end each workout with a devotion. FiA keep me physically, socially and spiritually healthy. Being a stay at home mom and raising my 3 children, add so much joy to my life and keeps me really busy. In my spare time, (which is very little) I love to read and travel.

Any other fun facts you want to share?

Jackie: I have never been to NYC so I'll be checking off two bucket list items that weekend! I'll be sharing this experience with my sister. Our mom is joining us in NYC and we are going to celebrate the last month I'll be in my 20's. :)  

What words of encouragement would you share with a girl starting with Girls on the Run?

Krystal: Believe in yourself and your abilities, and with hard work and determination, you WILL reach your goals. It is essential to surround yourself with supportive people that will lift you up and help you overcome obstacles.

Jackie: Be proud of yourself. The hardest part is getting your shoes on. With every step you are closer to your goal. 

Any fundraising tips for fellow SoleMates?

Krystal: Be creative. Think about what ways, ideas or events you would support. Use social media to share the benefits of the program and how the donations are used.

Jackie: Talk to as many people as possible and partner with other philanthropic organizations.

Thank you for all your support of Girls on the Run, Krystal & Jackie! If you want to donate to Krystal & Jackie's fundraising efforts, click here.