1. Name: Kari Ann Parker
2.Tell us about your past race/running experience: I ran Track and some Cross Country in high school, but thought running long distances just seemed so boring. However, after the birth of my first daughter, I felt like running a marathon (post-baby crazies, for sure!). That is where my love of miles began. Since then, I have added 3 more daughters and a few more marathons, with scattered races before during and after each of them.
3. What race did you run? The Baldwin Park Half Marathon in Orlando, Florida.
4. Why did you sign up for this race? Although I ran through the entire pregnancy of my last daughter, I only ran accasionally during her first year. I took time to baby my baby and while I don’t regret the time with my family, I was missing part of myself. So, I found a race a few months out, strapped on my running shoes, and convinced Janelle that training for a half marathon was exactly what she needed while working, going to school, and raising 3 daughters!
5. What/who inspires you to run? In most races, men are the leaders. At the turnaround during this race, it was a woman! When the second place runner (a man) passed by me at the turnaround, I said, “You know there’s a girl up ahead, right?” with my smirkiest smile.
I would like to say I run for other women.
I would like to say I run to be an example to my four daughters.
But really, I run for me. It makes me feel good…about myself, about life.
6. What is your best training tip? Build your own running community to keep it fun, but make time to run alone to stay in touch with your passion.
7. Water or Sports Drink? Water
8. Tell us about the outcome of the race: The week before the race I had a good 11-miler and decided to step-up my race goals. I finished in 1:49 despite an unexpected bridge we ran TWICE (sorry Janelle), was 3rd in my age group, and was the 10th female finisher. It’s not my fastest time ever, but I tried a new technique. Usually I start slow and make a great finish, but regret not pushing more in the beginning. This time I pushed early ’cause, why not? I had sparkle! The last 2 miles were tough, but I feel much better about the race overall.
9. Your favorite post-race indulgence? Pretty much anything that will fit…this time it was a 28″ pizza that I may or may not have shared with my family 🙂
10. Favorite part of racing in a Sparkle Skirt? Wearing the skirt made me feel like running my best. I mean, who wants to let down a sparkle skirt??
The Traveling Sparkle Skirts are a pair of Sparkle Athletic Running Skirts (one Hot Pink & one Turquoise) that travel the globe spreading the Sparkle Athletic love. Read more stories of the Traveling Sparkle Skirts HERE.