The Inspiring Instagram Runner You Need to Follow: Kelly Roberts
Selfie with Prince Harry? Check. A ‘badass lady gang’? Check. Start a movement that is having its first global day later this month? Check. Enter Kelly Roberts. “One of my favorite parts about running– strength is not tied to any number on a scale,” Roberts told Women’s Running magazine during an interview for her July 2017 cover issue. Roberts was named by the magazine as ‘One of 20 Women Who Are Changing the Sport of Running’, and by Competitor Magazine as ‘One of 12 Influential and Inspiring Runners under 30’. Though it hasn’t always been this way, Roberts’ Instagram bio even states she’s a self-proclaimed former president of the “I f*cking hate running club.”
Roberts founded the #SportsBraSquad, which encourages women to shed their tank tops and T-shirts and run in their sports bras, because there’s no such thing as the perfect running body. On her blog she says:
Roberts works to encourage women of all shapes and sizes to love the bodies they’re in, and to be proud of their strength.
You may have heard of Roberts before, or you might at least be familiar with the story that brought her to public attention. While running the NYC Half Marathon, she took inconspicuous selfies with attractive men during the race using the hashtag #hotguysrunningthenychalf, posting the selfies to instagram to make her sister laugh. With captions like “Times Square handsome,” and “mile 12 eye candy” her posts quickly went viral.
That was back in 2014. Flash forward three years and Roberts has amassed a following of well over 45,000 on Instagram, is sponsored by Oiselle, and started her blog (and now podcast), Run, Selfie, Repeat. Roberts is all about body positivity, especially in the running world, where women often feel they aren’t thin or fit enough to start running. Roberts writes on her blog:
It’s that line of thinking that led Roberts to found the #SportsBraSquad. And her sponsor, Osielle, named June 24 #SportsBraSquad Day, as Roberts puts it on her blog:
The day aims to bring together women around the world to show that strength comes in a myriad of shapes and sizes. Roberts is encouraging women to snap photos of themselves with the hashtag #SportsBraSquad and to share why they are running. There will also be group meet ups around the country on June 24 to inspire women to run confidently together in their sports bras.
Roberts also posts videos detailing the good, bad, and ugly of marathon training. She attempted to qualify for the Boston Marathon twice, running the Chicago and London marathons but fell short of qualifying by just minutes each time. Now, she’s moving her focus to inspiring new and veteran runners to run their strongest 5K. While training for a 5K, Roberts says you should push yourself to get out of your comfort zone, and diversify your training so it doesn’t get boring.
Below we’ve gathered a smattering of quotes written by Roberts to print out and tape to your wall (or if you’re technologically savvy bookmark the page) to motivate you to get up and get running!