spotlight

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!

Running Buddy Spotlight: Jaclyn Kessler Starr

Running Buddies are an important part of our 5K event each season; helping motivate the girls as they run, jump, skip or dance across the finish line! Jaclyn, a Girls on the Run NYC supporter and 5K Running Buddy tells us about her experiences.

How did you get involved with Girls on the Run NYC initially?
My very good friend, Jen Klein, joined the board of Girls on the Run NYC a few years ago and that’s how I first learned about Girls on the Run. I have been a runner since college, so I was really excited to be a Running Buddy because it combined an activity that I really love with a terrific and worthwhile cause. After my first 5k with GOTR, I was hooked and I have participated whenever I could since then.

What was your favorite moment of the 5K?
It’s hard to pick a favorite moment of the 5k because I feel like I’ve had a terrific experience each time I’ve done it. My last experience (December 2013) was particularly great, though. I had three girls who all decided to run/walk with me and they were adorable. I spent most of the three miles in the middle of two of them, holding hands with each of them and just talking about school, their families, running, Girls on the Run and all sorts of stuff. We all ran through the finish line holding hands and even though the girls were tired, they got a burst of energy when we got back into the stadium and saw the finish line. After the race, we took a few photos and the girls gave me their moms’ phone numbers, so I could text them the photos. A couple hours later, I was having brunch with my college roommate, who was also a running buddy, and my phone rang. It was one of the girl’s grandmother’s – she called to thank me for the photo and to tell me how proud she was of her granddaughter. That was incredible and made me so happy.

Why do you feel it is important to support Girls on the Run NYC?
My husband (Jason Starr) and I support Girls on the Run because we feel it is a fantastic and well-run (no pun intended :)) organization with a great and important mission. It is easy to understand that the skills that Girls on the Run teaches, and the age group that the program focuses on, have the potential to have a lifetime impact on the participants. It’s also nice because even with a modest financial or time dedication, you can see the concrete ways in which your support matters and fosters the program’s objectives — whether it be through providing scholarships for the program, running shoes to girls who need them or the pure sense of accomplishment of helping a girl finishing her first 5k. Girls on the Run is an organization that we are excited about supporting in various ways for the long term.

What do you look forward to being involved with in the future?
Since I learned about Girls on the Run, I have always wished I could be a coach and make a more consistent time commitment. My current work schedule doesn’t allow it, but I hope to become more involved with Girls on the Run in some capacity in the future.

What were you like in 4th grade?

I was a serious gymnast when I was younger, so when I was in 4th grade I was tiny and basically one giant muscle. I was also a huge nerd – I loved school and reading long books. I read Gone with the Wind during 4th grade and my teacher thought I was nuts. We think Jaclyn is great!

Our next end of season 5K will be taking place in June 2014. To receive more information on being a 5K Running Buddy or 5K General Volunteer as the event approaches, sign up for our mailing list HERE.

SoleMates Spotlight: Shira

Today we feature SoleMate Shira who ran in the 2014 NYC Half Marathon for Girls on the Run NYC on Sunday, March 16!

Shira was our #1 fundraiser for the NYC Half and a true Girls on the Run SuperStar!

Why did you choose to support Girls On The Run NYC through your training for the NYC half marathon?
I chose to run in the NYC Half Marathon for Girls on the Run NYC because running makes me feel confident and strong. I always feel like I accomplish something special after I run and I want to help other girls feel that way too.

What is your favorite part of the half marathon training?
My favorite part of the training is to gradually increase my distance to be able to run the 13.1 miles easily. It is a great personal challenge!

What’s your #1 fundraising tip?
I have always let friends and family know how important running is to me and they have seen how happy it makes me.  When I told them about Girls on the Run and what they do for girls, they were happy to support me. Also, I go to an amazing school and the teachers and students were all really supportive.

What activities have you done to fundraise for Girls On The Run?
I sent an email to everyone I knew and explained to them what running and Girls on the Run means to me. I also had a bake sale at my school.

What does being part of Girls On The Run NYC SoleMates mean to you?
Being a part of Girls on the Run means that I can help other girls feel good about themselves through running.  It is satisfying to know that I can help them in this way.

Check out Shira’s fundraising campaign here.

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

Coach Spotlight: Jenny You

We chatted with Jenny You this week, a new coach at one of our Girls on the Run sites on the Upper West Side. We love Jenny’s enthusiasm and want to thank her for all of her contributions to GOTR!

How long have you been coaching for Girls on the Run?

This is my first season and I’m loving it! I will definitely be signing up for seasons to come.

What is your favorite thing about coaching for GOTR-NYC?

I love seeing girls that weren’t friends at the beginning of the season develop relationships with one another! It’s clear that the girls really bond through the GOTR activities and workouts, and it’s great to see certain cliques dissolve a little bit. It’s also great to hear from a girl who wasn’t crazy about running tell you that they are learning to like it.

How do you feel that GOTR-NYC is helping the girls you coach?

I think that GOTR-NYC gives the girls an opportunity to surprise themselves with what they’re able to accomplish. If I think about how scrawny I was at ages 9, 10 and 11, I can’t even imagine waking up before school to exercise or run a 5k! There’s no question that conquering a 5k as a young woman gives each girl lasting confidence. Specifically at our site, the girls get to kick off their day with a meaningful life lesson and some powerful endorphins!

Are there any special touches you’ve put on the curriculum or different methods you’ve tried with your girls?

All of the girls REALLY love tag and all of its variants, so the other coaches (shout out to Molly, Keeley, Roshan, Melissa, Maha and Rebecca!) and I sometimes offer a quick game of tag at the end of practice as a reward if the girls try their best to focus on the lesson of the day. It’s amazing how motivating a piece of candy or a game of zombie tag can be!

Congrats to Coach Jenny for her running accomplishments and thanks for all you do for Girls on the Run!