About Cleo · Toronto 15k

How Cleopatra Conquered the Nike Women’s Toronto 15k

*Throws two thumbs up*, “Jackie did you get the picture?

Photo by @Jacbeale

Those were my first words after crossing the finish line back in Toronto. I wanted to make sure I got the perfect finish line picture. Unfortunately, I didn’t. In fact, almost all of my race pictures sucked! I was losing my voice and had a nasty cough while I was in TO. Of course, almost every race photographer caught a shot of me coughing or sneezing. And it’s not even liked I was dressed all cute to make up for the ugly faces. My hair was a mess under my hat and it was showing, so I have about two good race pictures. The rest look like I am struggling to get some air. But who cares?! I finished.race_1286_photo_20044716race_1286_photo_20010872

About two and a half months of training that kinda felt like an entire year. I was doing about 15 to 20 miles per week up until Toronto(still going to do the same amount even though the race is over). I was going to tons of Nike sessions, I was running crew hopping, I was strength training, all while still building up my own Cleopatra’s Army classes. My goal was to finish in under two hours, I finished around an hour and 37 minutes.. (Haven’t calculated it exactly yet, but I’ll get back to you guys on that). I was running 10 minute miles and the race was 9.3 miles so you can estimate about how long it took me to complete it. For my first race, I am very proud of that time. I did not stop running and I pushed all the way through.

However, I did not make it this far all by myself. I wouldn’t not have been able to do it without the constant support from the people I have connected with in the running community and within Nike. I had a pleasure representing Nike NYC throughout this journey. This was my first race, but it will not be my last!


To anyone reading this who isn’t a runner, you should really think about starting. Especially if you’re in NYC. If you want to run alone, there are so many places, paths, and tracks to do so. If you want to run with other people there are some many running crews you can become a part of. I bet there’s one in your neighborhood and you didn’t even know it!

I never realized how amazing it is to simply run miles with other people, but I promise you it is great. The running community is strong, and non runners often times don’t understand it or get a chance to see it. Being that I transitioned from a person who initially hated running to a person who loves to run, I can tell you the transition is worth the hard work. Running long distance is much more a mental battle than it is physical and don’t let anyone tell you different. Running has so little to do with age or weight, it has to do with YOU and YOUR MIND.You have to convince yourself to keep going even when everything in you wants to stop. Start small and then gradually push further and further. That’s how I did it. Who knows you may even come to find that running long distances is easier for you than you thought. Trust me I’ve seen it happen.

photo by @ajaninyc

Wait, Ajani caught one of me smiling.

Also my campaign is still open for donation. If you have no idea what my campaign is for, click here and read up. Donate if you can! Any donation, no matter how big or small, is deeply appreciated. I do not keep a single dollar, all of it goes towards the projects.


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