When I graduated college, I felt lost. My soccer career was over, many of my friends moved out of state and I did not have a routine. My mom suggested that I should join a running group because I always enjoyed exercising and racing in 5k/10ks. I was apprehensive about it because I did not want to be the “new girl.” I hated going out of my comfort zone. Fast-forward 6 years, 6 marathons, 20+half marathons later, I’ll tell you what, mom’s are ALWAYS right.

Running has given me confidence, a community, friendships, mental strength and determination. Words can’t even begin to describe the feeling of crossing that finish line after months of training. It is a euphoric feeling, a feeling I have become addicted to.

Gazelle Girl was actually my very first half marathon. I never ran more than a 10k, but I knew I could do it. Not going to lie, I was completely nervous. I questioned my training and my sanity when I was walking to the start line. I vividly remember a pacer asking me if this was my first half marathon. She told me that she was so proud of me and this was going to be life changing. Boy, was she right. Right then and there I knew I had to give back to this race. When the opportunity to pace Gazelle Girl presented itself, I could not pass it up. I want to empower and encourage female runners and I get to pacing. On race day, take a moment to look around at all the women around you. We all have a different story and hectic lives, but this wonderful race brought us all together to celebrate our efforts and of course female runners! This race will change you, I promise.