This week, we honor Tiffany Ayuda, who crushed the New York Road Runner’s 10th annual More Magazine/ Fitness Magazine Women’s Half Marathon on Sunday, her first-ever 13.1 miles to help girls like Roshni study in Nepal. Below, I found out what’s been powering Tiffany to lace up her sneakers.
What are you the first to do?
I’m the first journalist/editor in my family. Growing up, I’ve always wanted to pursue a career in journalism, but I felt like I had a lot going against me, since most of my family members have established careers in business, engineering, and medicine. But I was determined to turn my goals into reality and follow my true passion. I want to build a career that I can be proud of in the future. Putting drive, focus, and confidence behind your goals is the first step in education, and that’s what I hope for all girls and women in the world.
I don’t consider myself to be a very good runner, so when I first signed up to do a half marathon, I had doubts about being able to finish the race. But I’ve been training very hard, and I think it goes to show that when you put your heart and mind into something, your body will take care of the rest.
What is your fundraising goal?
My goal is to raise $1,000, but I’m hoping to exceed that amount by June!
What’s a training tip or fitness that you’ve learned in the process of being part of the campaign?
It can sometimes be frustrating if you don’t immediately see progress in your training, but stick with it! When I first started running, I was out of breath within the first mile, but I kept at it. If I gave up, I would have never known that I could run as much as I do now.
Best piece of support/feedback/encouragement that you’ve received?
Chris McDougall, author of Born to Run, said “There’s something so universal about that sensation, the way running unites our two most primal impulses: fear and pleasure. We run when we’re scare, we run when we’re ecstatic, we run away from our problems and run for a good time.” I think running shows that when you put your mind to something, you can inspire your body to do things you never thought you could.
Your power song: “Wave” by Miike Snow
Tell us about a girl sponsored by She’s the First who motivates you:
Roshni from Nepal really inspires me because she traveled two days to take an admissions exam for school three different times before she got accepted. That takes sheer determination, hard work, and passion. I also admire her goals of becoming a doctor and opening a hospital in her community in the future.