Oh wow, where to start? Well maybe here:

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This is what winning the Shorty Award felt like.

The running world and pop culture don’t intersect in very public ways very often. We are a small army of healthy, thoughtful, passionate people, but I wouldn’t describe us as “on fleek”, or whatever. So having a runner selected as a finalist for the award for “best athlete in social media” was a shock to me. Having that runner be me? #omg #blessed 

For the curious, here’s the recap of our jam-packed 48 hours.

First off, the crew. Sally, Sarah and I. We spent 47 of the 48 hours within a high-five distance of one another, (literally). Ain’t no room in NY hotels for rollaway beds as it turns out.

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The five hour flight to New York City absolutely flew by the way flights with friends with tons to catch up on do. My black leather dress from Scanlan Theodore (a stunner Lesko picked up in Australia) sat neatly wrapped in the overhead compartment, tag still on it, ready for the big show. We dialed in our itinerary, made predictions, and spent the rest of the time catching up on kids, work, and running, and when the seatbelt light finally pinged off, we popped out of our seats with our supplies ready to carpe-the-fricken-diem.

All that was missing were our swords.

All that was missing were our swords.

We got to our room at the Dream Hotel in midtown after 1am, and slept about as well as three people in a king sized bed can sleep next to a noisy road in Manhattan. The morning was spent streaming the Boston Marathon in pajamas, running through Central Park, and getting ready for the Awards.

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Fix Beauty Bar was clutch. Thanks to Meggie Smith for the tip!

Walking the red carpet (which was actually teal), was when I realized the full extent of the quirkiness of the Shorty Awards. We stood in a line of niche-famous people, none of us with any clue who the others were, waiting to walk into a tent full of photographers and journalists. In this line were YouTube stars, Vine comedians, a child chef, a famous skeleton named Skellie, Bill Nye the Science Guy, web gurus, artists, musicians, actors, NBA dudes, Rachel Dratch (who by the way plays the mom in Alexi Pappas’s upcoming movie “Tracktown”), Wyclef, and an Ebola activist, to name a few. Clothing ranged from red sequence-covered Mickey Mouse ears, to dapper suits, to dresses covered in pictures of Hillary Clinton. There were man buns and curly mustaches. It was a beautiful internet freak show, and we all posed under the lights one by one to capture the moment. More pics here.

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IMG_7784VIP cocktail hour at the Times Center was next, where we were greeted by Poop Face (who later won best emoji), immediately diffusing any nerves about where to find common ground among this diverse crowd.  We made friends immediately. As we would learn over and over again throughout the show and the after party, creative internet types are super fun (and beautifully weird), and to people who thrive on pioneering new ways of connecting with others online, the normal boundaries of human conversation don’t apply. I absolutely loved every minute of it.

MV5BMTg5OTQ0MjI4Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTk5MDYyMg@@._V1_SX214_CR0,0,214,317_AL_The show itself was in a cool theater space downstairs with about 300 red velvet covered seats. Rachel Dratch was an amazing host, full of jokes about online memes, narcissism and life with the internet. The show was barely getting started when  Johnny Weir announced the athlete category and then BAM, he said my name. I had no idea what to do. I hadn’t been paying attention to the logistics of the two previous winners. It happened so fast I didn’t have a chance to get nervous, and then suddenly I felt like my chest was on fire, I flew out of my seat to the wrong end of the stage with no stairs, leapt up awkwardly and ran over to the podium to accept my award, gave a short speech and then went the wrong way twice before being ushered out the proper exit door. Now backstage, I was face to face with Rachel Dratch who was preparing to go back on stage, and I didn’t know what to do to stop staring, so I thrust my hand out for a handshake and said “Hi I’m Lauren. Good job.” She said, “Hi. Thanks.” and then I promptly turned and ran for the wine table. #nailedit

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Nobody told me you don’t have to hunch over for the mic to work.

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The after party really was supreme. Not too fancy. Just a great space filled with interesting people, good music and an open bar. I got to take a #skelfie with Skellie of @omgliterallydead, who later danced with many of the guests on the dance floor (she liked to freak). I got to talk to “Parent of the Year” who was the warmest woman ever, and when I asked for advice she said “Always be honest with your kids. Even when it hurts them sometimes. That’s how they know they can trust you for life.” I had conversations with people who worked for big media agencies, for the NBA, a woman who worked on my favorite podcast “Serial” (best podcast winner).  And talked Ebola with Activist of the Year. And of course there was dancing, Five Guys, and sleeping in until 11am the next day.

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In order of appearance, @OMGLiterallyDead, Activist @KatieMyler, Healthy Living @Kris_Carr, Parent of the Year @MaralaScott, Comedian @NicoleArbour, and the good folks of the @NBA.

In true runnerd fashion, no trip to New York City is complete without a visit to NYRR HQ, even if all you have is 15 minutes before leaving town, and CEO Mary Wittenberg gathered about 20 people to meet us for a quick hello because she’s the bomb dot com. #girlcrush

The team at NYRR

The team at NYRR

Now, I’m back to on the west coast with my family and my team, heart full to the brim with gratitude, odd memories, and a general disbelief that the 48 hours in NY were my real life. I’m also left sitting here thinking about the potential of our sport in social media. Many athletes carry the misconception that if we aren’t winning, we aren’t worthy. That’s crap. The athletes who inspire me on social media are the ones who aren’t afraid to be real, who take time to lift people up, who have fun, and who aren’t afraid to stand for something. Pro, amateur, masters, high school…doesn’t matter. Let’s USE this medium.

Here’s my speech if you missed it. If you don’t watch it, in it I thank my run family, and that’s you. Thanks for keeping it weird. 🙂

xoxo

Lauren