The Southern Berks News
TikTok star from Berks completes NYC Marathon
Erin Azar, aka Mrs. Space Cadet, says showing up for yourself is your trophy
A 37-year-old Kempton mom of three became a TikTok star while training for a marathon.
With thousands of fans cheering her on, Erin Azar, or Mrs. Space Cadet as she is known on TikTok, completed her first marathon at the New York City Marathon on Nov. 7.
Azar later shared a montage video on her Mrs. Space Cadet Facebook page, showing what consistently showing up for yourself looks like.
The video opens at the start of her running journey, “Do you ever get that feeling, being so sick of yourself that you’re just like I have no other choice but to do something about it to make some kind of change? So this is that change, the beginning hopefully of that change.”
The montage shows Azar running alongside cornfields and up hills (one she calls Puke Hill) through rain, snow and heat, even through tears at one time, and concludes with her triumphant finish of the NYC Marathon.
With fans cheering her on from the sidelines, Azar completed the 26.2-mile marathon and crossed the finish line with jubilant tears and smiles. The final image shows a golden trophy of a running Mrs. Space Cadet and the message: “Show up for yourself because you are the trophy.”
Azar also raised about $76,000
of her $100,000 fundraising goal for Team Fox, the grassroots community fundraising program at The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Visit her donation page at wegiveafox.com to make a contribution.
“There is still time to raise money for Parkinson’s research!” she said. “We have until Nov. 30 to reach my $100k goal.”
A Journey to TikTok Fame
Azar began documenting her runs two years ago, inviting followers to join her, bringing humor, fun and a lot of inspiration to those on what she calls Team Struggle.
“I started running a few months after having my third baby when I was feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. I was desperate for something to make me feel better and healthier, but we didn’t have the money for a gym or equipment so I chose running!” said Azar. “My first goal was just to run for 30 days. That quickly changed to running a marathon within a year.”
She started running one mile and decided to train for a marathon shortly after.
“For some reason I skipped all the distances in between! Unfortunately every marathon I signed up for until this fall was canceled.”
Azar began posting run videos to TikTok after failing to find people who were sharing realistic running content.
“My hope was to find a couple friends online like me that didn’t have perfect runner bodies and who also ran a 12-plus minute mile,” said Azar.
Then her videos went viral.
Her relatable content as a running mother sharing her struggles connected her to 696,300 fans and 26,700 million likes on TikTok.
That fame on TikTok led to national media coverage including the Today Show and the New York Times.
Her reaction to gaining TikTok fame?
“Pure confusion! I thought I was too old to be successful on social media. I quickly learned that wasn’t the case, but it was VERY unexpected.”
And that fame followed her to New York City.
Azar posted on her Mrs. Space Cadet Facebook page that she probably added at least 0.25 miles onto her marathon distance from turning around or crossing the street to take selfies with people supporting her.
“It was SO worth it! I never want to forget these moments that carried me through,” she posted. “From one of my running icons @ hellahgood9 to Coach Alysha @whatrunsyou giving me a pep talk to @ houseofyouse handing out Team Struggle Run signs, the people with their own signs and cheer sections and those of you who yelled a quick ‘I love your TikToks’ as you ran by … thank you! Thank you for making my NYC Marathon experience better than I could’ve imagined.”
Her TikTok fame motivated Azar to keep going because people started to be inspired by her story (as is evident by the number of comments from followers on her Facebook page telling her how much she inspired them).
“I didn’t want to let anyone down, but I especially didn’t want to let myself down since I usually quit everything I try,” she said.
She also connected with fans recently in a live virtual event to bring people up on the virtual stage to ask questions or share their experience.
“Two years ago, I went for my first run out of desperation following the birth of our third baby. I get asked all the time how I manage to keep going and how others can get started. Going from 0 to 26.2 miles with the help of my virtual coach @whatrunsyou has taught me a TON not only about myself, but also why OTHERS quit and why I quit so many times in the past,” Azar posted.
Azar completed the 26.2mile marathon in 6 hours and 8 minutes. She anticipates her time would have been faster if not for stopping to take pictures and give hugs, but she would not trade those moments for a faster time.
“It was the most intense, but magical experience! I was blown away by the support of so many people who have such pride in where they live. I felt welcomed in all five boroughs and was moved to tears by everyone who came to cheer for me,” said Azar.
What’s next for this TikTok running mom?
“I want to use marathons as a cool way to see cities! Running over the bridges with only other runners is something most people don’t get to experience,” she said. “I tried to take as many videos as I could so I never forget how amazing it was. I’m hoping to be able to travel to different places and document the training, races, and people I meet along the way.”
To continue to follow Mrs. Space Cadet on her journey, follow on TikTok @mrs.space.cadet, on Instagram @immrsspacecadet, on her Mrs. SpaceCadet Facebook page, and on her Mrs. SpaceCadet blog at www.mrsspacecadet. com, as well as her YouTube channel.