WITNESS MARATHON RUNNER SPOTLIGHT SERIES: BRYCE ROE

We are excited to present our third runner spotlight as part of WITNESS’ participation in the 2016 TCS NYC Marathon. This month, audiovisual archivist Bryce Roe talks about video, her family, and marathoning!

Why did you decide to run the 2016 TCS NYC Marathon?

Mostly I wanted a different challenge and experience than my previous small-town marathons. I’ve run the Wineglass marathon a couple times, which takes place in my home town in Corning, upstate NY. I’m really excited about something very different; many more people, many fewer cows.

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What inspired you to run for Team WITNESS?

I’m an audiovisual archivist, and I became familiar with the amazing work of WITNESS through archival channels. I very much admire their work and the resources they provide to enable individuals and archivists to document human rights abuses with video, and to ensure that it is available for use as evidence to fight for justice. I saw that Team WITNESS was looking to fill a runner spot just as I was scouting out fall marathons. I immediately – and somewhat impulsively – jumped at the opportunity, but I haven’t regretted it for a second! I’ve learned more about how WITNESS is fighting for justice against human rights abuses since I began fundraising. I’m so motivated to spread the word and raise money to support this important work. And I’m so excited to run with folks who share my passion for this cause, for the value of video documentation, and for marathon-ing!

What role has video played in your life?

Hmmm…one thing that comes to mind is being able to watch my aunt in action as a peace activist throughout my life. The first of these videos I watched of her was of her arrest in Palestine when I was very young. I remember first learning that she was in jail and thinking she must have done something really bad! One of the fellow peace activists took a video of the event and I watched it with her when she returned, and I saw that she had participated in a peaceful protest. Now I am able to keep up on her work on Facebook mostly through videos. I have so much admiration for how she conducts herself in the face of conflict. She’s told me a lot about her work and I read her speeches. It’s just totally different to view her in action and to witness events as they unfolded.

As an archivist, I think learning how to preserve and provide access to resources in a variety of formats goes hand-in-hand with our goals to preserve and provide access to a diversity of perspectives and stories. Video presents unique archival challenges, but I’ve found those challenges to be the most interesting and motivating!

What causes are you most passionate about?

I’m passionate about social justice and human rights causes, especially those that work to develop new solutions to address our current social problems, and that hold people accountable for their actions. It’s not surprising that as an archivist I’m passionate about causes to ensure that all people have access to the right information and the ability to use it, and I’m passionate about quality, accessible education for everyone.

How are you preparing for the big race?

I’m following a training plan (Hanson Brothers) aimed at achieving my goal time. I run 6 days a week, each at a designated distance, intensity and speed. It’s a big commitment and it’s hard! But I like it. As you improve, at some point it feels like you can’t take credit for all of it. When the runs get long I think, “supposedly I’m going to be able to run 16 miles today?”, but if you’ve put in your miles, you do it! The same goes for marathon day. The thrilling part is the unknown. I won’t do a 26 miler in my training, but just have to trust that all the miles over months have prepared me and go for it!

Support Bryce run her first NYC Marathon by donating to her page!

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