Alison Desir is one of those women with an infectious spirit that’s just great to be around. I first ran with Harlem Run, a group she created two years ago, for a women’s day run. Harlem Run teamed up with Girls Gotta Run, a non-profit working in Ethiopia. There’s a community spirit about HR that’s undeniable and it comes from the top, from Alison herself.
She has an MA in Counselling Psychology, is a running coach, and also a writer. She’s been exploring the connection between mental health and running – something I find fascinating too. But she’s dedicated actual time and study to finding out more about the link between the two.
I enjoy running in Harlem, but it’s usually by myself. Running at night with both Harlem Run and further up, We Run Uptown, is exhilarating. I enjoy seeing the sights – the history, the people who aren’t afraid to call out at you, the architecture. Running with Alison, just us two, created its own little adventure, as she showed me her Harlem, and talked about its significance in her life.
Along the way, we also blew kisses at Neil Patrick Harris [technically at his apartment, which he may or may not have been in], stopped for a bathroom break, and climbed stairs in Marcus Garvey Park.