So, where are our older mini warriors now? We caught up with a few mini warriors and their parent(s) who kept Stroller Warriors in the loop with their running journey! We recently interviewed a Stroller Warriors mom-daughter duo—Naomi K. and her daughter Ayla. Naomi is one of our original Stroller Warrior members from Camp Lejeune and the founder of Stroller Warriors Miramar.
Name: Naomi K.
Stroller Warriors chapter(s): SW Camp Lejeune 2010-2012; SW Miramar 2015-2017
What was your favorite thing about Stroller Warriors? My favorite thing about SW was the camaraderie we developed with fellow military spouses from all over the world through running! We supported each other through tough times and cheered each other on through successes.
Did you suspect your mini warrior would have his/her own running career one day? I was hopeful that the example my husband and I set would lead to our kids discovering the joy in running throughout their lives. Ayla has always been a competitive child and I can clearly remember her first 5-mile Mud Run in Camp Lejeune at the age of 6 and how she set a goal to beat her big brother. She kept repeating the mantra she heard from Stephanie G. "The faster you run, the sooner you’re done!" and she accomplished her goal! She ran her 1st 1/2 marathons at the ages of 10 and 11 years old and it has been so fun to watch her competing on varsity as a freshman with her high school Cross Country team.
Name: Ayla K.
Do you remember your first Stroller Warriors event? How old were you? I remember going to SW in North Carolina when I was age 6 and we would play at the park after the run.
What memories do you have of Stroller Warriors? Any favorite SW memories to share? I remember my mom used to push me in the stroller and when I got older, I would ride my bike while she ran. One of my favorite memories was running the Holiday Half Marathon in San Diego with our SW Miramar team in 2016. I was 10 years old! My friend Felix and I trained for it and ran the whole race together-- It was so fun! I did another half marathon in San Diego when I was 11!
Are you currently in touch with any mini warriors you have met along the way? I keep in touch with my friend Felix. We were running buddies in CA. He lives in New Jersey and I live in Utah, but we still text each other.
What team do you run with now? How long have you been running? I run with the Farmington High School Cross Country Team. I picked up running in 3rd grade with my school's running club and ran with SW in CA. I took a break from running in 6th grade when my Dad retired from the USMC and we moved to Utah. In 7th grade, I joined our junior high track team and had a lot of fun! Eighth grade track got cancelled because of COVID. :(
What inspires you to keep running? I am inspired to run because it is fun and there is constant competition--you can run for fun, race the clock, or try and improve your time.
Have your parents inspired you? If so, in what way? Yes, since both my parents run, I obviously had to try it too!
What lessons did you learn with Stroller Warriors and how have those lessons influenced you today?
I have learned that you get out of running what you put into it. If you work hard, train hard and treat your body right through nutrition and rest, then you will see improvements in your times and that is satisfying! I have been able to get multiple PR's this cross-country season because of the hard work I put into it.