With that being said, it’s time to meet a member of #teamsparkle. Up next is Briana, aka @matmilesmedals on social media!
Tell us about your past race/running experience:
Briana: I am an adult-onset runner – after years of being a road warrior with a sedentary lifestyle, I started walking for fitness. A friend asked me to walk the Rock n Roll San Diego Half Marathon with her – the distance seemed daunting, but it also felt like a cool goal with a birthday looming around the corner. My first race was a half marathon! We power-walked the whole way, and I loved it! I saw people of all ages, shapes and abilities pushing themselves and it was inspiring. I then set a goal to finish a half marathon in under 3 hours and started running intervals – now I run races! A year later, I finished Rock n Roll San Diego over an hour faster, which remains one of my most memorable finishes!
I used to travel extensively for work. Now I’ve swapped my work travel (mostly) for race travel! I’ve found running helps me experience places in a whole new way, whether I’m racing or taking a morning run. When a work trip took me to London a couple of years ago, I explored a lot of Hyde Park on a long run – more than I ever would have if I were just walking around the city as a tourist. Because I’ve decided to make racecations part of my running strategy, I’ve traveled to many new-to-me places, including Vancouver BC, Virginia Beach and San Antonio, TX. My first year of racing (2013), I finished two half marathons. I’ve steadily increased the number each year – in 2016, it was 18 half marathons (15 of which were Rock n Roll races, qualifying me for “Hall of Fame”). I’m excited to run my 50th half marathon in 2017.
We are so glad you are a part of #teamsparkle. When did you first join and what color was your first skirt?
B: I joined #teamsparkle at my first race (Rock n Roll San Diego 2013)! I had never seen anyone run in a skirt, but my friend was insistent that we would have more fun wearing Sparkle Athletic. I bought a pink skirt so we’d match (she already had one). She was totally right – racing in a Sparkle Athletic skirt always makes me smile!
What/Who inspires you to continue running?
B: I used to travel about 90% for work. I was overweight and uncomfortable in my skin. In addition to improving my level of fitness and health, running has given me a new confidence, more energy and a better outlook on life. I run to continue to improve on the person I’ve become personally and physically.
We all know how much #teamsparkle loves their treats as much as they love running… What’s your favorite indulgence?
B: I’m a big foodie! One of my favorite things to do is eat cuisine local to the area I’m visiting (poutine in Montreal, deli in NYC, lobster rolls in New England, breakfast tacos in Texas, etc.) I’d have to say my favorite is chicken and waffles – love the sweet/savory combo!
Which Sparkle Athletic product is your favorite “go to”?
B: I’m all about the Sparkle Athletic skirts – both the specialty/patterned and the classic skirts. I’ve created so many fun ensembles with them and mixed & matched them in a myriad of ways. I get to dress up with my friends – they say when you feel good about what you’re wearing, you perform better. My 5K, 10K and Half Marathon PRs were all set in Sparkle Athletic skirts.
What is one of your favorite parts of racing in a Sparkle Athletic skirt?
B: I always know I’m a part of a community when I wear a Sparkle Athletic skirt. I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with people during races because of my skirt. We cheer each other on. Even if I’m running by myself, if I’m wearing Sparkle Athletic, I’m never alone.
Thank YOU so very much for “joining the team.” Individually each & everyone of you is amazing, but as a “team” we ROCK.
Everyone has a story, and we want to hear YOURS! The #teamsparkle community is such a loving and inclusive group, but often times we are tackling our runs solo. Knowing your teammates can help you to feel more a part of the running community.
If you would like to share your story, whether it is about how you got started running, what motivates your running, why you love running, or how running has changed your life, please let us know! We would love to feature you on an upcoming “Meet The Team“ post – so email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!