Women To Watch In 2017, Alison Desir

Before I knew the mastermind behind Harlem Run, a free fitness movement connecting and inspiring the famous NYC community, I knew of Alison Desir. We both belong to the November Project New York City tribe and we'd often exchange hugs and high fives but I'd never actually talked with her about what she was creating. That was until we both joined forces with Candice Huffine to become ambassadors for Project Start.

The Harlem Run community Alison has built is incredible. She's not only bringing people together, but she's created a safe space for brand new runners to get started. She's inspiring, passionate, smart, foxy, patient, full of grit and optimism and she's a woman we all should be watching in 2017. 

Most runners spend the first part of the year setting goals and building fitness. Not Alison. She, along with three other badass women are hitting the ground running. 

Introducing Four Women Run For All Women.

On January 16, 2017, MLK Day, Alison and her sisterhood of badass women will begin a 240-mile run from Harlem to Washington DC in an effort to raise money and awareness for Planned Parenthood and the power of women. (That is roughly two NYC Marathons every single day.) Then they'll arrive in DC on January 20th just in time for the Women's March on Washington. 

And that is why she is one of my Women to Watch in 2017.

Sometimes it's difficult to feel like we can make a difference. It's inspiring to see women come together to do something to make the world a better place.

Alison's devotion to her community is making a difference, changing lives, and now her Four Women Run for ALL Women needs our support.

In Alison's words, 

I read somewhere, “No one person can change the world, but we can each do our part.” I'm from Harlem. I live to run. What can I do?

To see the route, CLICK HERE. This cause is unreal. If you're feeling helpless in today's politcal climate, this is an awesome way to get active. From donating in the form of one dollar to all the dollars (CLICK HERE), to joining segments of their powerful run, to hosting your own solidarity run, to simply spreading the word, please do what you can. For more information on how you can help, email desiralison@gmail.com. 

No one soars alone. Head up, wings out.

You can follow Alison on Instagram and Twitter. Let's band together and show her that we're all flying beside her.


Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.


Kelly Roberts

It all started when a silly joke made headlines back in 2014 when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the New York City Half Marathon. But ironically enough, I haven't always been a runner. As the self-proclaimed former President of the "I f*cking hate running club", I spent most of my life finding ways to avoid physical activity. Growing up, I missed over 70 days of PE my senior year. Working out was something I thought I had to suffer through in order to lose weight. 

Then, in 2009, my younger brother passed away unexpectedly and struggling to manage my grief, I gained more than 75 pounds. With the weight gain came a new fight to regain my sense of self and learn to love the body I saw when I looked in the mirror. Then one Thanksgiving morning, drowning in grief and self doubt, I decided to go for a run. I didn't make it half way down my street before I had to stop to walk but for some reason, struggling forward made more sense than getting back into bed. It turns out that running is a lot like grief, neither ever really get easier, you just get stronger. 

Over time, I realized that while some people are in fact born runners, others are made. I created this blog Run, Selfie, Repeat and my new podcast by the same name with the hopes to inspire others to say yes to themselves while making them laugh hysterically because laughing, in my opinion, is the solution to everything. 

Named by Women's Running as one of twenty women who are changing the sport of running and by Competitor Magazine as one of 12 Influential and inspiring runners under 30, my mission is to inspire others to get embrace a healthy lifestyle and pursue the strongest version of themselves possible.