Jenny Simpson made history at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The New Balance athlete became the first American female to medal in the 1,500 meters, taking home the bronze.
While Simpson admitted that she doesn’t typically listen to music during training, there was one song that caught her attention before the Olympics: Meghan Trainor’s “Me Too,” which includes the lyrics “If I was you, I’d wanna be me, too.”
“I thought that’s the type of attitude a really competitive person should have and not be ashamed,”she told Footwear News. “I worked hard for this; I deserve to have the rewards of what it means to be me. That’s my hope for people is that they are confident in themselves and really happy to be who they are.”
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As for Simpson’s medal, it’s stored in her nightstand. “I don’t want it to be an enclosed thing on a wall somewhere; I want to bring it to events,” she said. “I want it to be a tangible thing to show a lifetime of dedication. It makes the work look tangible to [kids at events], too.”
Simpson attended an event today to launch the New York Road Runners RunCenter, featuring a New Balance Run Hub. This year, New Balance became the official athletic footwear and apparel partner of NYRR. The space is located near Columbus Circle, on 57th Street in New York City.
“I was introduced to running through a school program. Seeing the kids involved and experience running, that resonates with me so much,” she said. “I didn’t have parents that we’re going to show me the ropes. This [space] is a really incredible expression of the health of our sport.”
The space includes digital activations, such as interactive programming featuring Simpson. The Run for Life touch-screen wall allows visitors to perform warmup exercises with the Olympic athlete. Additional runner engagement features include strategy sessions led by NYRR coaches, a touch screen for race results, lockers and changing rooms. Running events and programs will be hosted at the spot.
Plus, the New Balance Run Hub has a prominent place in the RunCenter. The space showcases product by the brand – footwear, apparel and accessories. Also inside the hub, participants can test out exclusive product and gear before it launches.
Simpson also offered some advice to runners. “The best advice I can give you is to find friends to run with,” she said. “That accountability is better for getting you out the door.”
Also announced was the 1 for Your 1 for Youth program. For every pair of shoes purchased at the RunCenter, New Balance will donate a pair of shoes to NYRR’s youth programs.
Simpson is gearing up for an event in Boston with her fellow New Balance female athletes. “We are putting together a relay,” she said. “I’m anchoring and I’ll be running 1,600 meters. Hopefully, fingers crossed, we set the record.”
Simpson added that for most of her miles she rotates between the New Balance 820 and 860 training shoes. For shorter distances, she loves the Hanzo.