We met Takia McClendon of City Fit Girls via Twitter, and were super inspired by her and all she's doing for running and fitness in Philly (and beyond). (We love seeing women doing cool sh*t in the running world!) So we asked her to share her inspirational Runner's Life story...
Describe what RUNNING is to you, in 5 words or less.
City Fit Girls Run
How did you get started running and/or what inspired you to run?
I signed up for my first 5K, the Hunger Run, because I was interested in food justice issues in my community. After crossing the finish line and seeing how happy running made all the participants (runners and spectators), I knew I wanted to explore longer distances and new running events. I eventually used the fitness platform that I co-founded, City Fit Girls to make running a part of my life.
Your favorite running moment? (anything -- achievement, event, people, race, place, etc)
My favorite running moment was finishing my first half marathon, the 2013 Philadelphia Half Marathon. My left knee completely gave out around mile 10 and I thought that I wouldn't finish. I had to walk a little (a lot) but the other runners motivated me to keep going. It was a great experience. I crossed the finish line, went home and literally could not walk for two days but it was such a great feeling.
Who/what do you think you'd be like today if you did NOT run
This is such a great question. Running and fitness has literally transformed my life. Not only would City Fit Girls Run Club not exist but I would be working behind a desk doing non-profit or local government administration. Instead, I wake up daily, toss on running tights and running shoes to start my workday at Philadelphia Runner. Then I head out for group runs, boot camps, fundraisers after my work day is over.
Why do you keep on running? and running and running...
I keep running because of my team. City Fit Girls Run Club is full of the most inspiring women. On days I don't feel like putting the mileage in, I know they are going to push me and encourage me to give it my all. I also know that if I'm not motivated to run, it's hard to get others excited about running.
What is your favorite post run/race indulgence?
Dottie’s Donuts - you have to look these guys up - and a cup of coffee.
Oddest, most unusual, weirdest running experience...
Maybe I'm too new to running but I have yet to have an unusual running experience. I hear great stories everyday about weird things happening during races and long runs but haven't been lucky to experience anything weird...yet.