Member Spotlight: Melissa Jackson Holloway

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Where do you live?
Yorktown, IN

What event are you running with Team for Kids?
The 2016 TCS New York City Marathon

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
The support on the course from other Team members and from the kids that actually benefit from the program.

What is your favorite place to run and why?
I prefer an outdoor run over the devil’s sidewalk (treadmill) 99.9% of the time. I love to run my neighborhood and local running trials – especially the Cardinal Greenway here in IN and the American Tobacco Trial in NC. My favorite race location to date is my trip to the Paris Marathon in 2015.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I don’t run with music often but when I do I go for up-tempo hip hop or rap or Zumba music (I am an instructor).

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Starbucks (that’s a meal right?) or breakfast foods.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
My relationship with running began with a treadmill in the Green Bay, WI east side YMCA in 2008. I joined the Y in an effort to lose weight and to improve my fitness. I would go to the Y first thing in the am and walk on the treadmill after winter weather pushed me indoor. I am a fast walker and one of the trainers told me that I walked as fast as many people run and that I should try running intervals. He also introduced me to the Couch to 5k program and I set out to complete that program during the winter months and signed up for the first spring race that I could that would coincide with my completion of the program. I completed the program (all indoors) and so my first outside running experience was on race day in April, 2008. It was really different but I was able to run the entire race and cried like a baby at the finish line. I then went back to the couch and gain 50 lbs that I had already lost and so rediscovered running again in 2012 through Black Girls Run?

Running has helped me maintain a 150+ weight loss over the last 4-5 years.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
1. Never wear anything new on race day – especially the race shirt provided in advance of race completion
2. I try to eat the same meal the night before – salmon and brown rice or salmon and a baked sweet potato and the morning of a race (peanut butter and banana sandwich with black coffee)
3. Taking a picture of flat Melissa before the race and a prayer at the start line.

Why did you choose to run this event?
Overweight kids become overweight adults and I know this first hand. I did not discover running until I was in my 40’s and wish that I knew at 10 what I know now regarding the importance of health and fitness and the awesome sense of accomplishment that you get from running. I want every child to learn that lesson NOW rather than later.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I am a 46 year old married mom of 1; My 17 year old son heads to college in the fall; I recently relocated to IN from NC and have also lived in NY, NJ and Wisconsin; I am an attorney in higher education; a proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.; former ambassador for Black Girls Run! Raleigh (NC), a member of the National Black Marathoners Association; a Marathon Maniac; a Half Fanatic. Since 2012 – I have completed one ultra, 10 marathons, 20+ half marathons and countless other races of shorter distances.

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