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July 28, 2018

The 2018 High Flyer Awards!

Lesko

We are so thrilled to present our 3rd year of Oiselle’s High Flyer Awards! Starting in 2016, our first recipients were Allie Bigelow, Lauryn Williams, Beth Sullivan, and Taylor Dutch, followed in 2017 by Carrie Tollefson, Elyse Kopecky, Ali Schulz, and Zoey Dowling. This year we listened to the people, and the people overwhelmingly endorsed these 2018 winners! Congratulations to our 2018 High Flyers: Beth Baker, Alison Desir, Mary Arnold, and Dawn Biggs.


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BETH BAKER: Founder of Running Evolution, specializing in “coaching non-runners, reluctant runners, and rusty runners in a non-competitive forum.”

“Beth is the one reason I started to run.”

“Beth is a miracle-worker of inspiration, grit, and self-love.”

“Beth has turned so many people into runners who never thought they were the running kind.”

What are you most proud of?

I am so proud of my brand spanking new runners. They show up, being brave, curious and willing to put in the work. Learning to run is more about the transformation of the mind, and then the body, and they give in to the process, trust in us, and come out running….literally. A close follow up is the community that we have. They are supportive, honest and really respect each other.

What are you working on now/ dreaming for the future?

We just launched Coach Running Evolution: A certification program to train other coaches to start new runners. AND in the fall I am launching a podcast called "Why We Run" (Interviewing badasses, rockstars and all in between, while running).

How do you "go bananas"? (let loose and have fun)

I just finished a 200-mile relay race that was about the best thing ever, and I feel really embodied all the things I love:

  1. Screaming my head off for runners whilst driving a big ol van.
  2. Running 9 miles at 4:00 in the morning.
  3. Listening to loud music and singing badly with other badass women.
  4. Cracking jokes, laughing till I pee my pants, then 2 seconds later crying with pride.
  5. So many buttslaps. Just so many.

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DAWN BIGGS: Co-creator of Random Tuesday, Inc. which has, through running, raised and donated almost $2 million to 40 charities since 2014.

“Dawn and RTI encourage healthy ways to begin running and they celebrate accomplishments of all levels: from a first-timer running a mile to completing an Ultra or Spartan Beast.”  

What are you most proud of?

I love our nonprofit and all of our members, but to be honest, if I have to select what I am most proud of, it is my daughter Rory. She is 12 years old and already braver and stronger than I could ever hope to be. She is a fierce patriarchy smasher and raising her to be a force for good in the world is my greatest accomplishment.  

What are you working on now/ dreaming for the future?

Work is pretty much nonstop. With three virtual running programs and their accompanying communities going, there is always something happening. It is a constant search to design the right medal to go with the right charity partner to go with the perfect theme. As for dreams, I would love to grow a space for women (and men!) of all shapes, sizes, and abilities to feel empowered to reach their fitness goals, while also doing amazing things for their communities and the world. I guess I already have that, so everything from here on out is a bonus!

How do you "go bananas"?

For ‘banana time’, you will find me on the water. I love to paddle board. Out on the Long Island Sound, in the early morning quiet, it’s about as close to perfect as it gets. I don’t know if that counts as bananas, but it’s definitely my zen.  


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ALISON DESIR: Founder of Harlem Run and Run4AllWomen, Mental Health Counselor, Women’s Rights Advocate.

“Alison brings humility to each and every endeavor. Every experience is met with the objective of empowering and inspiring others with the constant reach for diversity and inclusion at all levels. She is a coach, leader, teacher, organizer, and activist at the core.”

What are you most proud of?

I'm most proud that I decided to be vulnerable about my struggle with anxiety and depression. There's a huge stigma associated with mental illness but in sharing my story, I've been able to not only feel better and more empowered but also connect with so many people across the globe (including my now husband who I met thanks to social media!). It was my struggle with depression that led to the creation of Harlem Run and I'm thankful for the ripple effect that has led me to where I am today!

What are you working on now/ dreaming for the future?

So many things!!  On a personal level, I've discovered a love for the outdoors. Trail running, stand up paddle boarding, hiking - I'm kind of obsessed with getting outdoors and taking as many people with me via personal vacations and curated retreats. I'm also rebooting my podcast (Find Meaning on the Run) and of course leading weekly run/events for my community via Harlem Run.

On a more public and political level, I'm dreaming about a more just United States; I'm working on a campaign, The Midterm Run, whose goal is to flip Congress through collaborative grassroots activism and support of progressive candidates.

How do you "go bananas"? 

 I'm a huge nerd...so the perfect scenario for going bananas usually involves Karaoke alllllll night long or sitting at home on the couch with my husband and a bottle of wine. 10 years ago, my response to this question would've been so different! lol


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MARY ARNOLD: Co-founder Run4AllWomen, Leader November Project NYC

“Mary is a leader to women everywhere--a passionate, loving class act that all women should strive to be like.”

“Mary has the amazing ability to stay calm and convince others they can achieve and raise them up, even in the midst of complete chaos.”

What are you most proud of?

Hands down, I am most proud of helping launch Run 4 All Women. Never in my life had something pulled at me so hard; something that said " you absolutely have to do this". We ended up running 252 miles over the course of 2.5 days and we raised over 100k for Planned Parenthood. While these facts alone are hard to wrap my head around, it was absolutely mind boggling that over 1k people joined us along the route. The stop in Philadelphia was out of control; there were over 300 people waiting for us at Independence Hall. When I came running up from the side street and saw them all, I started to cry- I could hardly believe it was real. From Harlem to Washington DC, the group kept putting one foot in front of the other, driving change and empowerment with each step.

What are you working on now/ dreaming for the future?

I launched my own marketing consulting business last year and my goal is to grow it by helping newer brands connect with active audiences. Down the road, I hope to grow enough that I can help bring younger women into the sports marketing industry in a way that represents them, respects their contributions and fosters growth of female leadership.

From a personal standpoint, I am excited to turn 40 with a BANG. My plan is to celebrate the decade by completing my 10th 100 mile race and earn my 500 mile buckle at the Vermont 100 in July of 2019.

How do you "go bananas"? 

I love to go adventuring! Sometimes, they need to be small adventures because of work/life commitments, like when my BFF and I go running to a new neighborhood or out on a new trail with no real map or agenda. Sometimes, they are HUGE adventures- in 4 days my husband and I will be driving across the country to visit 5 of the National Parks before I head to Colorado for a work assignment. 


Big thanks to our winners for all you do in the running community!

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