Angel Piccirillo is a professional runner for Oiselle, living and training in Bend, Oregon. She is a recent transplant from Philadelphia where she trained with a group of top middle distance runners. She graduated from Villanova in 2017 completing a successful college career as an NCAA runner up and a 9 time Penn Relays champion. She has been running since she was 15 when she went to Homer-Center High School in Homer City, Pennsylvania, about an hour outside of Pittsburgh. She came to running through other sports including basketball, volleyball, cheerleading, swimming and gymnastics. She is engaged to fellow professional athlete Patrick Tiernan and plans to be married next year in Philadelphia.
After all that you accomplished, what drives you to continue running?
I think it’s a love for the sport but also the drive to accomplish more. I’m a pretty competitive person so I love to push myself and see what I can achieve.
How have you been handling everything dealing with Covid running wise?
I have really struggled through COVID. It has been hard for me to balance this new reality with the social unrest and rampant police brutality through the United States. Black Americans, in my opinion, have been collectively going through a particular
difficult emotional journey over the last few months.
What are your goals once things go back to normal?
Safety! But once we can accomplish that, I want to be at the Olympic trials competing in the 1500. I would love to run the Olympic Standard in the 1500 and make the final!
What is one thing you look forward to once things go back to normal?
I can’t wait to feel safe eating at restaurants with my friends and my partner. It has been difficult connecting with people in person during COVID. I will also be happy to not have to remember my mask everywhere, because I have masks everywhere now so I don’t forget.
What has been your most memorable race to date?
I think my most memorable race to date is when I ran my personal record in the 1500 last year. I went into that race feeling very positive and confident and I am constantly working to hold onto that and replicate it in all my races. I feel like I genuinely had fun and was present through the whole race. Collegiately, any relay race at the Penn Relays. I went to Villanova and there was nothing more special to me than carrying on our extremely successful legacy there.
What does your weight training consist of and which exercise do you feel helps your running the most?
I have been focusing a lot on mobility exercises and activation stuff. I recently joined a new group here in Bend, Oregon. So I am sure my weight training will change soon but I am excited for that change.
What's your pet peeve?
Rudness or selfishness.
What's your biggest fear?
Probably insects, not all but certain insects really terrify me.
What's it like to hold a collegiate record?
It was awesome. I remember that race really vividly and I went into it with no expectation of breaking that record so it was definitely an icing on the cake moment. I also love the 1,000 meter race in general, so anytime I have the opportunity to race it I look forward to it!
What's it like being a part of the Oiselle team?
It’s amazing. I truly couldn’t ask for a better company to represent. They have been so present and active in the fight for social change and they are not afraid to be vocal about the important issues. They have been extremely supportive of me as a black
woman and I am so excited to have joined the Littlewing group here in Bend, Oregon! This is an incredible group of women being supported by an organization that couldn’t be better.
Who would you say is the funniest teammate?
That's to be determined! In my new group I’m just getting started so I should know soon enough! I am probably the wrong person to ask though because I can be a pretty easy laugh but I love it!
Do you like ice baths?
No! I strongly dislike ice baths. I don’t think they do much for me and my extremities take forever to warm up after being that cold. I much prefer recovery boots.
In your free time when you’re not running, what hobby’s do you enjoy?
I like photography! I also enjoy reading and spending time with friends and family! I also can’t lie, I am at times a TV junkie so who knows where you’ll find me!
What's the most important tip you like to give new runners?
Have fun! It’s so cliché but I think, especially in the early days, if you want to have later days, if you don’t find a way to enjoy what you’re doing you’ll never stick with it. Also, find a friend. Running is way more enjoyable with someone else!
When it comes to running, what would you say is your biggest strength and weakness?
I think my biggest strength is my ability to let go of some things. I am really competitive by nature but I think I am also good at taking my easy days slow and allowing myself to recover without comparing myself to others. My biggest weakness is self doubt! I think we all experience this but I struggle with moments of self doubt and lack of confidence as the seasons flow but I have been working with a sports psychologist to continually improve that weak area and turn it into a strength.
Who is someone you look up to in the sport?
I really look up to my former training partners Ajee Wilson, Raevyn Rogers, Kendra Chambers, Charlene Lipsey and Marielle Hall. I trained in Philadelphia at varying times with a group of really strong, talented black women and I admire them so much! I
was able to learn so much from them and grow so much from being there. They showed me determination, resiliency, mental strength and the power of support and believing in one another.
If you could compete in one Field event, which would you choose?
I would love to high jump! I think they seem like the coolest athletes and what they do is so incredible.
What's next for Angel Piccirillo?
My fiancé and I moved to Oregon from Philadelphia so lots of adjusting to do here! Along with lots of exploring and adventuring.
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