Altra Running is excited to introduce the newest member of our Altra Elite Team: Alexi Pappas! Alexi represented Greece in the 2016 Olympic Games where she set the national record for the 10k. A talented filmmaker and writer, Alexi released her first book, Bravey, earlier this year, and is working on more projects to tell her story. Get to know Alexi better, discover what sparked her love for running, and see why she is a great new addition to the Altra Elite team.
Where are you from?
Where do you spend most of your time training?
These days you’re most likely to find me running trails in the Santa Monica Mountains and Malibu Creek State Park, near my home in Los Angeles. I never knew how gorgeous and expansive the trail system is around LA. Every day it feels like I’m discovering something new!
How did you get into running?
I’d love to answer this question with the opening paragraph of my book, Bravey: “My earliest memory of running was in the first grade when a boy in my class made fun of my best friend, and I not only chased him down but caught him and stabbed him with a pencil to make sure he knew I wasn’t messing around. In middle school, I channeled my athletic ability in a more productive way: the track team. Organized chasing. We had weekly meets at the local high school dirt track, which was very exciting to us twelve-year-olds. The meets were coed and I won them all. I liked the feeling of winning. It made me feel like I mattered. All I’ve ever wanted in my life is to matter.” The rest is history!
Tell us about the New York Marathon.
The New York City Marathon is one of the most special events in the world, and for me, this year it was about a celebration of health. I had hamstring surgery earlier this year after years of running with pain, and this marathon was the first time in a long while that I ran completely pain-free. I followed my doctor’s advice and kept my pace very slow and steady, more of a “run” than a “race.” It ended up being the most incredible experience because I got to truly connect with the crowd and the city, and feel the magic of the NY Marathon in an entirely new and unique way. The feeling of running pain-free was euphoric and made me fall in love with running all over again.
I love Altra for so many reasons. First, the product. The first time I ran in Altras, I immediately noticed the difference in running in a FootShape™design. I felt connected to my body and the earth in the most exciting and secure way–the shoes have helped me enjoy running more than ever before. I also feel very close to the ethos and spirit of the company–I am excited to celebrate the joy of running all the while exploring the outermost limits of my mind and body alongside my new teammates. It meant so much to me to meet some of my new Altra teammates in NYC. I love wearing a shoe that I believe in. It’s like having another teammate.
Any other races coming up?
Definitely excited to run a leg of the Speed Project relay on the Altra team!!! It’s been a dream of mine to run that race, and I love being on relay teams!!
Any projects on the horizon? Running or otherwise.
Yes! The paperback edition of my book, Bravey, will be coming out this winter and I am currently working on a Young Readers adaptation of the book for younger readers. I’ve also recently finished a new movie, called NOT AN ARTIST, that will be premiering this coming year! I will also be helping as the head judge of a film festival competition in partnership with a big cross country race in LA (at Mt. Sac, hosted by Trials of Miles).
We are excited to welcome our newest elite athlete to the Altra Running team and cannot wait to see what other adventures and races we can join her on! Follow Alexi on Instagram and Twitter: @alexipappas