SoleMate Spotlight - 2018 TCS New York City Marathon: Alli

Today we're shining a spotlight on Alli, a SoleMate who's running in the TCS New York City Marathon while also raising funds for GOTR programming!  Alli, we are so excited to see you at the Marathon and we are grateful for your support to help us reach more girls!

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

Empowering girls to be athletic and great is so important. It helps in all areas of life- career, personal life, friendships, mentorships... the list goes on. Confidence is so important for females at any age... I love the confidence I get from being a great runner, and I hope I can help other girls achieve that same feeling.

Why did you decide to be a SoleMate for the NYC Marathon and fundraise for Girls on the Run?

I heard about the organization through a friend and thought it was an amazing cause.

Tell us a little bit about your running history! Why do you run?

My mom ran every single morning when I was growing up (and still does), so I grew up around running. I got into running for exercise, and didn't realize I was a real "runner" until college. There was a charity 5k being held at my school (Trinity), and the 1st place prize was a generous gift certificate to one of my favorite restaurants. I said to myself... I want to win this!! And, I did! At that time, I realized that I had something a little special.

Favorite place to run? Or Favorite pump-up running song?

I love running out in the Hamptons because there is beauty pretty much everywhere you look. I love to admire the beautiful homes and fields.

Is this your first marathon? If no, how many have you run?

This is my 4th official marathon, but my 5th if you count the 26.2 that I ran Sunday November 4, 2012. The New York City Marathon was cancelled due to hurricane Sandy, but there was no way that I was going to end my 18 weeks of training without running a marathon. I ran throughout Westchester, NY, and my parents and now-husband biked/roller bladed with me along the way to provide water and support. My sister even made signs that she displayed along the way. It was incredible.

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

Running definitely keeps me all of those things. Other than that, having a great tan goes a long way :) And, it sounds cliche, but my family and friends keep me joyful.

Who do you look up to?

My mom & my sisters-in-law

Who has impacted your life the most and encouraged you to be your beautiful, healthy, and courageous self?

My mom, 100%. She is my #1 fan and truly believes I am a superstar!

Any fundraising tips for fellow SoleMates?

Double check to see if your company (or other donor's companies) can match donations! I didn't know my company could match until halfway through my fundraising, and they ended up covering 20% of my total donation requirement!  

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

Leave it all on the field.

What advice would you give yourself at 10 years old?

Start running sooner!!  

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

 

 

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SoleMate Spotlight - 2018 TCS New York City Marathon: Sarah

Today we're shining a spotlight on Sarah, a SoleMate who's running in the TCS New York City Marathon while also raising funds for GOTR programming!  Sarah, we are so excited to see you at the Marathon and we are grateful for your support to help us reach more girls!

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

Girls on the Run mission to me is to inspire all girls to be strong, confident, and healthy! For girls to be unafraid of who they are and want to be!

Why did you decide to be a SoleMate for the NYC Marathon and fundraise for Girls on the Run?

I volunteered as a Sparkle Running for one of the 5K celebratory races and had so much time running with the girls and seeing their faces after they realized they accomplished their goal! I always wanted to run a marathon and didn’t believe I would follow through if I didn’t volunteer for a charity. Girls on the Run is an incredible organization and program for girls and it only seems fitting to run the marathon for a charity based on running.

Tell us a little bit about your running history! Why do you run?

I was always very athletic, but I never really ran much until I came to college. I started to run as a form of exercise, but slowly it became a way to relax during my day or week. I find that going on a run is a great opportunity to clear my mind.

Favorite place to run? Or Favorite pump-up running song?

I love running through Riverside Park and along the Westside highway. As I’ve been

training for the marathon I needed to explore longer routes and found that I enjoy running in Central Park especially around the reservoir. I also loved my long runs around the city! I enjoy going through Battery Park and reminiscing about my time there when I was younger. I always get a burst of energy when “I Wanna to Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” by Whitney Houston plays in my earbuds. I sometimes can’t help myself and dance a little to the music.

Is this your first marathon? If no, how many have you run?

This is my very first marathon! I’m very excited to be running in the NYC Marathon especially since I’ve watched it when I was younger.

If people could give you energy awards while you were running the marathon which would you want for an energy boost?

I would definitely enjoy the Boom Dynamite energy award!

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

I try and keep healthy eating and hygiene habits to physically feel better in stressful stretches of time. I will also take time to go on a quick walk to get some fresh air and hopefully a different perspective on any particular situation. Spending time with friends is also a great way to be joyful and get a good laugh.

Who do you look up to?

I look up to my mother who shows me what it means to be a hard worker and a compassionate and loving friend and family member. Although sandwiched between two generations, her mother and her kids, my mother was able to handle taking care of our larger nuclear family during the good and bad times. She always checks in on me (and how I’m keeping up with my training) and knows exactly what to say to put me at ease.

Who has impacted your life the most and encouraged you to be your beautiful, healthy, and courageous self?

My grandmother had a great effect on my life. She showed perseverance and poise during difficult times and encouraged me to do the same. Being considerate, thoughtful, and graceful under pressure were just a few of the things she taught me. She also encouraged my passions and my opinion. She was more inclined to give compliments than spread gossip which I found not only benefited the person receiving the compliment but was an easy way to give yourself a boost of confidence as well.

Any fundraising tips for fellow SoleMates?

Keep posting and keep asking! When I hit milestones in my training, such as running my personal longest distance, I would post on social media to show that I am keeping up with my training and need others to help actualize my goal of going to the marathon.  

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

I hope a girl starting with Girls on the Run enjoys her time to gain confidence in herself and realizes how bold and beautiful she is.

What advice would you give yourself at 10 years old?

As an already young and naïve 10 year old I would remind myself to be kind to myself and have fun! Don’t worry about what others are doing, but find something you are passionate about and want to pursue!  

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

 

 

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SoleMate Spotlight - 2018 TCS New York City Marathon: Lila

Today we're shining a spotlight on Lila, a SoleMate who's running in the TCS New York City Marathon while also raising funds for GOTR programming!  Lila, we are so excited to see you at the Marathon and we are grateful for your support to help us reach more girls!

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

I see Girls on The Run as an incredible tool to empower young girls through sport. I think GOTR can play a truly meaningful role in the lives of young girls by teaching them confidence in their bodies, minds and spirits.

Why did you decide to be a SoleMate for the NYC Marathon and fundraise for Girls on the Run?

I really wanted to run the NYC marathon this year and when I didn't get in through the lottery, I looked through the list of participating charities. I've been looking forward to my daughter joining Girls on The Run in our small town and when I saw GOTR NYC as an option, it stood out to me. I got excited to help make this program more readily available to girls who might not otherwise be able to afford it. Endurance sports have given me confidence as an adult that I wish I had more of as a young girl. I know GOTR can give girls the gift of confidence and leadership skills. We need our young generation of girls to be powerful, have a voice and learn these skills from a young age!

Tell us a little bit about your running history! Why do you run?

My first experience running was a timed mile for basketball in high school and I hated it! I continued to run out of necessity. The first time I remember enjoying running was with friends on my Crew Team in college. We bonded over a long run as it got dark on a cool fall day in Maine. I've been hooked on endurance sport since college. I love the way it makes me feel strong, fit and I love the people it has introduced me to.

Favorite place to run? Or Favorite pump-up running song?

I love running on the familiar trails near my house. In the woods on snowmobile trails. I also really enjoy running along the river here on our local rail trail.

Is this your first marathon? If no, how many have you run?

This will be my first marathon.

If people could give you energy awards while you were running the marathon which would you want for an energy boost?

Hmm, maybe Dead bug??

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

I spend time outside hiking, biking and swimming. I am a triathlete and have competed in multiple sprint, Olympic and half distance triathlons over the past 5 years. I spend time with my young children staying active and involved in our community.

Who do you look up to?

I look up to many of my amazing mother friends who juggle raising young children, working and athletic pursuits, volunteering in their communities, and being good friends!

Who has impacted your life the most and encouraged you to be your beautiful, healthy, and courageous self?

Tough one! My elementary school science teacher gave me the confidence to pursue my dream of becoming a veterinarian. He convinced my 12 year old self that I was smart enough and good enough. As far as athletic role models, I look up to many professional athletes who have families and give back to their communities.

Any fundraising tips for fellow SoleMates?

Send a personal letter with your story to friends and family. Tell them specifically why GOTR is important in our current society. Write thank you letters to each person who donates.  

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

Believe in yourself. You can do more than you imagine. It's O.K. to be scared. Doing things you are scared of makes you a stronger, more confident person. Don't compare your athletic ability to others. Do your best and encourage others to do their best. Have fun and feel powerful!

What advice would you give yourself at 10 years old?

Love yourself for who you are! Don't compare your body or athletic abilities to others.  

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

 

 

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SoleMate Spotlight - 2018 TCS New York City Marathon: Samantha

Today we're shining a spotlight on Samantha, a SoleMate who's running in the TCS New York City Marathon while also raising funds for GOTR programming!  Samantha, we are so excited to see you at the Marathon and we are grateful for your support to help us reach more girls!

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

I am all about building confidence and understanding oneself and love that GOTR integrates social skills and running to do so.

Why did you decide to be a SoleMate for the NYC Marathon and fundraise for Girls on the Run?

As I have already mentioned- running has always been my outlet and my way of tapping into my inner confidence when I was having trouble accessing it. I love the fact that GOTR integrates physical activity with lessons designed to encourage girls to develop social skills that will be helpful to them as they enter into a difficult period (socially and emotionally) of their lives. I have always wanted to be a coach for this program however, due to conflicts with my school/work schedules, have never been able to do so and I couldn't think of a better way to be part of this program than through being a SoleMate- it gives me the opportunity to support an organization that hits close to home while doing the one thing I love to do!

Tell us a little bit about your running history! Why do you run?

I started running in middle school for many different reasons. Like many girls at that age, I was starting to face the woes of middle school friendships and changes and needed an outlet to work through the anxiety and stress I was experiencing and to clear my mind and build confidence. I have continued to use running as my stress-reliever- whether its stress related to work, relationships or just general anxiety that I experience on a day to day basis.

Favorite place to run? Or Favorite pump-up running song?

My favorite place to run would have to be Central Park- as much as I hate all the hills. Not only is it the best place to people watch (which helps pass the time on longer runs) but it also has the most variety in terms of trails and paths to run along. In regards to a favorite pump up song, I don't really have one specific song I turn to on every run. I more so have certain songs that help me through different parts of my runs. Hills: Reaper by Sia; Pacing: Fat Bottomed Girls by Queen & 'Till I Collapse by Eminem.

Is this your first marathon? If no, how many have you run?

This is my second marathon; specifically my second go at NYC.

If people could give you energy awards while you were running the marathon which would you want for an energy boost?

Goldfish crackers & salt packets! And a high-five or two!

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

As a social worker, I have come to love the term "self-care" and try my best to invest time in this everyday. While a run is usually my go-to for this, I also use spending time with my friends/family, watching TV, baking and listening to music.

Who do you look up to?

My cousin Kim- who is also a GOTR SoleMate and the reason I started running in the first place. Kim got me to go on my first long run with her in Middle School while she was training for another race and has been encouraging me to keep on running ever since. Kim has been the sister I've never had my whole life and I am always inspired by her positivity, ability to keep going and most of all, her strength. She continues to inspire me everyday and I am so happy to have someone to take on this marathon with.

Who has impacted your life the most and encouraged you to be your beautiful, healthy, and courageous self?

I am lucky enough that there have been many people along the way that have impacted my life. Most importantly though are my parents and brother. My parents have always been my number one supports and have always encouraged me to just be me, always. My brother is always reminding me to stop worrying and has always encouraged me to stick with what I believe, no matter if it sets me apart from everyone else. I am lucky to also have my boyfriend, Rob, who has been a huge support ever since he walked into my life. Rob has never let me quit, always reminds me of my strength and well, makes me, me.

Any fundraising tips for fellow SoleMates?

I've found it helpful to make fundraising personal- tell your story and the reasons why you are supporting the organization. I also put together a fundraising event (I did a Sunday Funday Happy Hour) that helped bring family/friends together to fundraise for this great organization!  

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

Be true to yourself and use this program as a foundation to help build on the confidence you already have within yourself.

What advice would you give yourself at 10 years old?

Stop sweating the small stuff and try, as much as possible, to be true to your silly, anxious and determined self.  

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

 

 

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SoleMate Spotlight - 2018 TCS New York City Marathon: Hayley

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!

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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.

 

 

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