My official running days started back in middle school. It’s actually kind of a funny story. My dream was to be a cheerleader. The problem was I wasn’t coordinated, flexible, or able to make up clever cheers. So aside from being loud and my ability to clap on beat only when others are keeping the beat, my dad steered me in the direction of cross country. His rational was that they took everyone and since I had inherited his family’s legs that I was built to run and thus my formal running days began.

While it has been many, many years ago since I was that middle schooler running all over the state (and usually puking my guts out around the finish line) running has been my constant go to all my life. As I kid I would have never been able to imagine the gifts that running would bring to my life. Running has brought me amazing friends, a support system of cheerleaders and a bonus fitness family. Running has brought me peace on a cold day when I go out and see just my set of tracks in newly fallen snow. Running has taught me to push my physical and mental limits and my body is capable of things I never knew it could do. Running has made me dream of things that scare and excite me every year.

Running will always be a blessing and something I am truly grateful I get to do. So when I line up at Gazelle Girl and get to pace amazing women on their journey that day it is another gift that running is giving me and yet it allows me to give something back. Being a pacer is much more than just running a long side someone and telling them their splits.

Pacing Gazelle Girl is about believing in each other and sharing in each other’s joys and pains as we all run that 13.1 mile course. It is about the high fives, hugs, tears and sweat we share at the finish line. Words cannot describe how inspiring it is to see so many women cheering each other on and being part of each other’s story on that beautiful morning. So happy training and I look forward to sharing the start line with all of you! Danielle Nye