Meet our Solemate Marra Mazzella!

Meet our Solemate Marra Mazzella!

Almost 10 years ago I joined my high school’s cross country team, persuaded by two overly enthusiastic friends of mine, I agreed to spend my afternoons running hills and laps around the school. Because an entire day spent there wasn’t painful enough. One invitational meet I was asked to run with the varsity girls and instead of jumping for joy, I wanted to cry. I was so nervous and didn’t believe I could do it. One of my coaches put an Eeyore sticker with the words “Suck It Up” written on my bib number. That day seemed pretty monumental to my 17 year old self. And although that specific race didn’t count toward our actual season it was still something I was scared to do. But I ran it, and I did okay. I sucked it up. Today I completed 9 miles in my training towards a half marathon (take that Eeyore sticker). This October I will be joined by my sister and brother in AC to run a combined 45.5 miles for the GOTR New Jersey North program. An organization my sister helped start. It brings young girls together to teach them to live happier and healthier lifestyles through the power of running. With the help of volunteers and coaches these girls build confidence and self esteem through a series of activities throughout 12 weeks, ending with a 5K race. Flanked by family and friends, girls as young as 3rd grade accomplish something pretty amazing. The lessons they learn in the 12 weeks will help them over the years grow into stronger women. So that when faced with something as small as a varsity race at 17 they’ll be able to say “piece of cake” instead of “I can’t do it.” My sister, Vikki will kick off our race weekend with a 10K, that’s 6.2 miles of hard running. My brother, Jim will be taking on 26.2 miles, and I will be hopefully nailing that 13.1. We’re running together as sole mates for GOTR NJN and of course, we’re running for ourselves too. If you have nieces or daughters, granddaughters or cousins, you’ll know some of the challenges young girls face today. This program is for them. Something I wish I had. So if you have a few extra dollars and you wouldn’t mind donating to our race the money will go to towards scholarships so that more girls will be able to experience the power of running. Please check out our race page at https://www.raceplanner.com/donate/Siblings-Running-Together#.VA-eqwMPzC4.facebook and for information about the GOTR program you can visit www.gotrnjn.org or the head page at www.girlsontherun.org. Thank you for reading! We appreciate your support!

 

Marra