October Runner of the Month: Sarah Mallory

Sarah Mallory is one of those runners who consistently inspires her teammates with her positive energy. When she joined North Brooklyn Runners in June 2018, she had no intention of getting into racing, and definitely no plans to run a marathon—she just wanted to make some friends.

To her surprise, she ended up clocking some impressive race finishes. “I truly had no idea what I was capable of in this sport until I joined NBR,” says the co-leader for Wednesday Mourning Doves. “But truly all of the beautiful friendships I've made surpass and outweigh any personal running accomplishments by far.”

An artist and art teacher currently getting her masters in social justice and art education at NYU, she recently designed the NBR Chicago Marathon singlet—which she’ll be wearing when she races her hometown marathon later this month. “Apparently I will cross the Chicago River five times during the race. I've been researching the river and thinking a lot about how rivers have a history of being places for journeys, hardships and transportation. I'm not exactly sure yet what it will feel like (if anything) to run over water that is so rooted to the place where I am from, but it feels special. I can't wait.”

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How she initially got into running: “I was totally on little kids track and cross country from like age 6. And I ran in middle school and high school.”

Sarah’s self-portrait

Sarah’s self-portrait

Favorite race distance: “I think the marathon?! Definitely not the 10k. I'm still trying to figure the marathon out and see what I can do with it. The marathon feels like a big project that requires a lot of labor, and working on it, for me, draws parallels to art-making.”

Song that makes her want to run: “‘Long Walk to D.C.’ by the Staple Singers.”

Best running memory: “Probably my first (and only so far!) trail race?! I raced the Breakneck Point half marathon last fall. The course was super vertical and technical; it took forever (a full 2+ hours longer than a road half). It was unlike anything i've ever done. The trail community was super cool and nice and really invested in eating snacks (which I love!). I ended up getting second place, and I was completely shocked! I had no idea I was doing well at all because I was mostly alone in the woods trying to find all the little pink flags that marked the route.”

Favorite running route in NYC: “Anything that takes me to Prospect Park and ends with coffee and pastries.”

Running superstition: “Pre-race Tina Turner usually.”

Best advice to running newbies: “I think a lot of people, especially adults, are reluctant to take up running, particularly if they have had a bad experience trying it before. I think getting used to the breathing can feel uncomfortable, and that turns a lot of people away. New runners need to keep in mind that not all of your runs should be at your maximum effort. Runners run different speeds and distances at different times. Running can feel slow and comfortable (and this way you can talk with your friends!).”

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