run for the oceans ///

I ran my fourth race this week and it was my best race to date! I started running about 2 years ago, for my first race in memory of my friend Jamal Gaines. It is an annual event in Atlantic City to bring awareness to Sneaker Violence. 

This race felt special to me because I ran with my best friend, Ashley, who ran her first race a month ago and already beat her time for 12 minutes! We've trained for this moment, prayed before the race, and celebrated with a performance by Kehlani.

We drove from Central Jersey to the Chelsea Piers, and if you want to find free parking in NYC just be patient. We drove around for a bit until we found the right spot and walked over to Pier 26. We checked in, warmed up, and ran our 5k race. 

The reason why I kept training/ running for this moment is because of the amazing POC I follow on Instagram- Ally Love, Adam Francique, and more were all there cheering us on, or running with us. I always drove passed the people running in New York and told myself I'd be there one day. During the race, I was very grateful for that moment- it was a beautiful evening, strangers were cheering me on, and I am healthy to run!

Ashley & I are big Kehlani fans, so before the race we told ourselves we'd run faster because her performance will be at the finish line! We sang our hearts out to every song, and jammed out to her songs on the drive back. Kehlani is an amazing spirit, and I'm grateful that she shares her gift with us. Adidas had food options for everyone, including me who's vegan. We had a BBQ Jackfruit Burger with carolina slaw from Chickpea & Olive.

Running for the Oceans is special to me because I believe we don't realize how precious life is until we encounter death. From the whales who die from eating plastic bottles & bags, to the crabs who get caught in the plastic that holds our 6 pack of soda. Marine life should be more important to us than it being in your sushi. 

I remember Earth Day as a kid and the slogan Reduce, Reuse & Recycle being everywhere. I'm still working on being more mindful in what I buy that can help the environment, but the company Parley reminded us that we have the choice as a consumer to choose less plastic: straws, bags, and cups, etc... because every minute, one truck of plastic ends up in the ocean. 

Adidas collaborated with Parley for the Oceans to create a sneaker made with yarn featuring  Parley Ocean Plastic™ which is made from recycled waste, intercepted from beaches and coastal communities before it reaches the ocean.

Each kilometer ran raises $1 toward the Parley Ocean Plastic Program. The money raised will go towards the Parley Ocean Plastic Program initiative in the Maldives. Learn more about the Parley Ocean School here .