Stella Christoforou

How long have you been running?  I have been grateful to be able to run ever since I was 10 years old. My parents let me join the local track club kids academy in 4th grade.

Do you recall when you first knew you loved the sport?  I grew up in a family who really values sports and the qualities that sports give to a person so I remember that from a very young age my parents let me try many different sports. From ballet to rhythmic gymnastics, to regular gymnastics, then basketball, and then European handball you may say it was love “at first training” when I went to my first track and field academy practice at the end of 3rd grade.

At what race did you qualify for the trials?  I ran my sub 2:45 at the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon.

How many marathons have you run? 4. New York City 2017, California International Marathon 2018, Cyprus National Championship 2019, and Indianapolis 2019.

 Is this your first marathon trial experience?  Yes. I am new to the sport since I was always a middle distance runner. I have represented my country Cyprus in 3 world championships before as well as European Championships and Commonwealth Games.

What was your high school and/or college top accomplishments?
10+ times National Champion in Middle School and High school.
Cyprus and Greece Record Holder -U15 category in the 600m 1:32:32
Record Holder in the U17 category 2:07 in the 800m
Record holder in the U17 and U19 1500m 4:23
National Senior Record Holder in the steeplechase
NCAA Division 1 All American
All-SEC Team
University of Georgia Record Holder
I chose to attend UGA for my undergrad and Georgia State University for graduate school where I used my 5th-year eligibility and won 2 conference titles in track. 800m/1500m 

Do you have a favorite race experience?  I love the energy at the start lines of any race. The enthusiasm, the nerves, all those feelings that only runners can understand relate to.

Favorite distance to race?  Honestly, I just like running. I like running and racing so much that I don’t have a favorite distance. I have raced absolutely everything from the 200m on the track up to the marathon and everything in between!

What's your nutrition of choice while racing?  I like to fuel with GU gels

What's your favorite running shoe? Pegasus as my training shoe and the Vaporflys for races.

Do you have a pre-race ritual or superstition?  Yes!! I like to wake up 3 hours before a race and get extra pretty doing my hair and makeup! It’s kinda funny but ever since I was a little girl my mama would tell me that if I show up to the race and I am not the fastest one at least I would be the prettiest one! Hahahaha ! That kinda stuck with me!

Post-race, what's your must-have meal?  That’s hard to answer! I would say desserts!! And lots of eat!

Married? Children? Furry friends?  I have been married to Alec since 2017. Currently no children as we are too busy running (get it? ;) ) and life is good right now :)

Who is your running icon?  It used to be Yolanda Ceplak. She is the World Champion record holder in the 800meters. I was even able to race against her in Milan Italy at the European Team championships a few years back. She is not longer my idol nor do I look up to her because she was caught using performance-enhancing drugs. That was when I promised myself I would never do any form of illegal substances to improve my performance. She crushed my teenage athlete heart and truly shattered the image I had of her.

Favorite mantra or motivational quote?  “Today I GET to run”!!!  I started saying this with my husband on the days when we are not feeling motivated or eager to get out the door for running but then once we turned the “we have to run” into a “we get to run” everything seems brighter and it is more than a run or a training session. It’s the opportunity to wake up and see the sunrise, feel the fresh breeze, breath clean oxygen. To me, that is not taken for granted!!

When you aren't training, how do you like to spend your time?  I am a big fan of going to the movies! Also I really enjoy shopping for more running Gear! (whoops)

Any fun fact you would like to share?  Hmmm I can’t think of any right now but I can get back to you :)

Social media handles: Instagram- stellacruns

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