This week's runner, Nicole O'Donnell not only helps athletes cross the finish line, but also helps fight Parkinson's Disease in the process. Nicole has always wanted to help people and make a difference so she embarked in a nonprofit career. Recently, she started working at the Michael J. Fox Foundation as the Team Fox Athletics Officer (dream job!) which is how the Hot Birds met her. Nicole lives on Long Island with her husband, Sean and their dog, Mabel. She's a health freak and vegetarian, loves to travel and is obssesed with cooking. She is also loves running now thanks to Team Fox and the NYC Half! Thanks for inspiring us to do what we love, Nicole!
When did you start running?
I have to be honest, prior to this year, I was not the biggest fan of running. But then I gained entry into the NYC Half marathon through Team Fox! I wanted to run in honor of my father-in-law who is living with Parkinson’s. This whole journey, from training to crossing that finish line, was truly an amazing experience and my love for running has blossomed.
Who or what inspires you to run?
Working in nonprofit, I have meet so many amazing people that have overcome various obstacles in their life. Each person I have met has inspired me in ways I could never fully articulate into words – they not only inspire me to run but to live life to the fullest.
What is your favorite running route? Why?
Around my neighborhood – it’s good motivation to keep going or pick up the pace…at any moment someone you know might pass by!
Favorite post-run meal?
Peanut butter! I always eat a teaspoon right before and after a run. This ritual came to fruition while training for the NYC Half marathon – Why? No clue but any excuse to eat Peanut Butter is fine by me.
Best piece of running advice?
Listen to your body. Don’t be caught up on the amount of miles you are running but focus on your breathing, your pace and just enjoy the moment.
Are you running for fun or sport?
Who would you love to run with (doesn't have to be a runner)?
Anyone who is willing to run with me.
Favorite way to sweat other than run?