If you keep your eyes open around campus, you may catch a five-foot tall, country boot wearing, smiling girl running between workouts and classes. Wondering who this rock star is? Ashley Malone is a 22-year-old junior majoring in biomedical engineering and a self-proclaimed “fitness philanthropist”.
Over the course of 2015, Ashley competed in nine Spartan Races from Philadelphia to her home state of Texas. Two of her nine races were 15 miles each, held back-to-back over a long weekend in Texas. Those 15 miles were composed of obstacles, running, and even hiking challenges. Ashley, the handy college kid that she is, has volunteered at all races in order to receive free admission to compete.
This year, Ashley is planning on competing in the Ultra Beast competition in Canada as an Elite competitor. She will be working to finish at the top of her division to win some awesome prizes and pretty cool bragging rights! What makes an Ultra Beast so challenging? It is a 26 plus-mile hike through mountainous terrain with daunting obstacles. “After I ran this year’s Philly Marathon, I began a unique training schedule for the Ultra Beast that consists of running, lifting, and even hiking!”
Now, why is she considered a fitness philanthropist? Ashley is a part of a great organization called “I Run for Michael”, or IR4, where runners are matched with special needs kids and adults. Runners are matched with those who can’t compete in order to mutually motivate runners and those in need to keep fighting. “I log my miles in order to inspire and motivate my buddy to keep fighting through countless medical procedures, it really helps keep me going!” The waiting list is long for a buddy match. Ashley has just recently acquired a buddy and she loves it! On her worst days she says she is motivated just knowing she should run because others out there physically can’t. After a seven-month wait for her buddy, Ashley has used her connection to keep her motivated during the daunting winter – quite the struggle for a Texas girl.
Going back to her roots of The Woodlands, Texas, Ashley has always had a love of all things Texas. She brings the southern hospitality –cowboy boots and all– to her new home at Drexel University.
Spartan racer, fitness philanthropist, and get this, she is even a great RA! As a new RA this year, Ashley brings laughter to the staff and residents of Race Hall. Ashley is a busy bee both on and off campus with all her interests, but that hasn’t stopped her from making friends and finding time for a little bit of fun! Best of luck with your races, Ash, we will all be cheering you on!