Solemates

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!

SoleMate Spotlight: Kelly Coddington

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SoleMate Kelly joined our team for the 2019 New York City Half Marathon this March - and we’re excited to shine a spotlight on her!

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

The experience of running my first race through NYC. This was the first time I’ve ran in the city and being so close, (New Jersey) I cannot believe I have not run a NYC race sooner!

What were you thinking as you crossed the finish line?

How proud of myself I was. I pushed myself this race and finished with my best half marathon time to date.

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

I wanted to see how I would do in a NYC race! It was much different than the races I have done. I also wanted to experience running in a race with thousands of other people. It was great seeing how many different people were there! I also wanted to support Girls on the Run and raise funds!

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?

Each girl should feel comfortable in her own skin. She should feel strong and know that she can take on anything that comes her way.

Congratulations and thank you, Kelly!

SoleMate Spotlight: Christine O’ Connell

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We are excited to feature SoleMate Christine, who ran the 2019 New York City Half Marathon for Girls on the Run NYC this March.

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

Running through Times Square! (Honestly, I loved all of it as it was super organized).

What were you thinking as you crossed the finish line?

That I was so grateful for everyone who had fundraised for me to be there and that I ran in NYC!!

Let us know: how did you prepare for race day?

I live and train in San Francisco, and I loved meeting other people who were running the NYC half.

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

I'm on the Associate Board for GOTR Bay Area, so I wanted to support!

What is your #1 fundraising tip for other SoleMates?

Ask early and ask often!

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?

That girls can do whatever they want and should not let anyone stop them. If they want to run a half, they should run a half! If they want to run for president, they should run for president!

Congratulations & thank you, Christine!

SoleMate Spotlight: Stacey

Today, we feature our 2014 NYC Triathlon SoleMate – Stacey!

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Stacey lives on the Upper West Side in NYC and is an Advertising Sales Director for Everyday Health.

Her passion for Health and Wellness began as a young girl when she joined her local YMCA swim team at age 11, which she found gave her more confidence both in the pool and out of the pool. After she graduated college from James Madison University and her swimming career came to an end, Stacey decided to expand into the world of Triathlons.

She completed her first Triathlon at the NYC Triathlon in 2012. She is excited to put her training to such a great cause, as she truly believes in empowering and inspiring girls to be joyful and confident. She has loved every opportunity to be involved with Girls on the Run, including being a Running Buddy and volunteering with the Fundraising Committee.

Recently, the NYC Triathlon team also featured Stacey online!

You can support Stacey’s Triathlon journey at raceplanner.com/donate/Stacey_Dvoryak.

SoleMate Spotlight: Deihdra Miller

Deihdra is a first-time SoleMate who is passionately raising money for Girls on the Run while training for the NYC Half Marathon! Read more about her below.

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Tell us a little bit about your running background? When did you start running and why?This is a tough one – I don’t have a running “background”.  I never ran a day in my life until 4 years ago. A lot of things happened at the right time, everything aligned – I had the best people around me and I joined an all-women’s triathlon team. You have to run to finish a triathlon so I did it! I’m not fast and most likely never will be but I get better with each year and learned to love it a little more with every race completed!

How do you make time for running?
On Tuesday mornings I drive into Central Park (from NJ) at 6am to run with my girls on Team Lipstick. The other days that I run, I do it after I drop off my kids at school. This year all 3 of my kids finally go to school for a full day so I have time to run after I drop them off!

How did you hear about Girls on the Run and why did you decide to get involved?
I don’t remember how I first heard about it but I wanted to be a coach for a few years. There was not a council in my county when I looked into it. Then one finally came to Bergen County and I emailed them right away. I initially thought I could “help out” & see how it works but after I went to one practice I was hooked! I was able to start a Girls on the Run team in my town and am the head coach for my team. I wanted to be involved because I wish I had it when I was in elementary school – it’s amazing to me to give a young girl a voice and a positive role model.

What is your favorite form of cross training?
I currently teach for Pure Barre as well as swim and bike as part of triathlon training – biking and Pure Barre are certainly my 2 favorites!

What running accessory or tool could you not live without?
I could not live without my Garmin 910xt – I use it for everything and I love that it works for an entire triathlon with transitions included.

What is your favorite motivational song?
My favorite motivational song is ‘Till I Collapse’ by Eminem.


Take a look at Deihdra’s blog at deihdratri.blogspot.com
& stay posted for more SoleMates features!

Check out Deihdra’s fundraising campaign here.

Are you interested in becoming a SoleMate? Go to gotrnyc.org/solemates for more information!