It was Sunday, October 8, 2006: a beautiful morning in New York City’s Central Park, and I was on my first lap of the NYC Marathon Tune-Up. The 18-mile, three-loop race around the park’s “Big Loop” was perfectly timed to the long-run needs of runners training for the New York City Marathon, so here I was. Running in circles with thousands of other grown-ups.
Why, what would you do on a Sunday morning?
I had just made the left turn on the north end of the park and was bracing myself for the upcoming Harlem Hill climb, when they passed me. Two women, running side by side, in matching pink skirts and tank tops.
Pink. Skirts!! The brightest, hottest pink I had ever seen. Skirts! For running!
I was mesmerized. My eyes glued to the shiny pink material, I picked up my pace a bit so I could stay behind the Skirts. [My husband, who was running with me, threw me a puzzled look, but accelerated his pace, as well. Not a problem for him, the fast one.]
We looped around the park, still keeping pace with the Pink Skirts on our second lap. That was becoming a challenge, though — I knew I needed to slow down a bit, so I had something left for the third loop. But that would mean losing track of the Skirts, so…
“I need to know where I can get one of those,” I told my husband, pointing to the Pink Ladies ahead of us. “I’ll be right back.”
I picked up pace yet again and caught up with them. “Excuse me,” I gasped, “where did you get those skirts?” [heavy breathing] “They’re so cool!”
“Oh, it’s Skirt Sports,” one of the ladies said. “It’s a new company. Look it up!”
The next day, I ordered my first Skirt, and I ran the New York City Marathon – my second one – in it. I PRed by 20 minutes on what was, in hindsight, pretty minimal training. But oh, did I have fun. So much fun!
The TRIKS Gym Girl in hot pink became my go-to running item. I ran in it as frequently as I could. Run. Wash. Repeat.
Whenever I wore it, magic happened: I got smiles, waves, sometimes even winks and nods from other runners!
If you’ve ever run in Central Park, you know this isn’t the norm. There are hundreds of runners there at any given moment — each of them often in their own world, focused on their own run. And that’s totally fine. But it wasn’t the case back then, when I was wearing my Skirt!
In that hot-pink Skirt, I felt like I was more than running. I was getting others to smile. I had them thinking, Oh look! A bright Skirt!
Nearly a decade has passed, but I remember vividly how my Pink Skirt changed my running world. Heck, it changed me and who I was as a runner! I wasn’t just one of many. I was the bright one, the happy one.
With time, my Skirt collection grew. I got a black one, a red one, a few tank tops, shorties, a dress (!) — then another dress (!!)… and on, and on. I ran more. We had a child. We moved to California. I got faster. I qualified for and ran the Boston Marathon.
My life keeps changing, but one thing remains constant: I always run in Skirt.
All the big companies – Nike, Brooks, Adidas, not to mention Lululemon and Athleta – have now added skirts and “skorts” to their collections. Yet, I have never for a second considered cheating on Skirt. A small business, founded by a triathlete – who invented the first-ever running skirt! – run by women, for women, and with amazing products and customer service? Why would I ever even think of wearing anything else?
Even before joining the Skirt Sports Ambassador program as a Captain – an incredible honor and privilege! – I would tell anyone who would listen: go to SkirtSports.com and check out their gear. Everything is flattering, beautiful, reasonably priced, incredibly high quality – I still have that hot-pink Skirt from 10 years ago! – and you’d support a business with values that are worth supporting!
If you’ve never tried on a Skirt, don’t wait. It might just change your running life — like it did mine!
Follow Aleks on her running and triathlon adventures on AleksRuns.com.