Cristina was born in Michigan and spent her childhood as an expat living in Germany, Japan, and England. She started running when she was nine years old, exploring Tokyo with her sister Carmen. She ran cross country in England, competing in the International School Sports Tournaments. Cristina was always a dedicated runner, but did not compete in college. She used that as a time to explore other interests. In 2007 Cristina moved to Los Angeles as a Teach For America Corps Member. While teaching middle school in Downtown LA, running served as a way to unwind after a challenging day at work. In her first year as a teacher she ran her first marathon, finishing in 4:48. Cristina still works in education, recently having founded an elementary charter school where she currently serves as the Principal. Over the years she has chipped away at that marathon time, going from a 4:48 to a 2:58. Cristina balances training for marathons while building her school. It's difficult to end 12 hour days working with kids with training runs, but running makes her feel strong and powerful, and has taught her that she can achieve anything she set her mind to.
"Success isn't how far you got, but the distance you traveled from where you started."
1:23 Half Marathon
Columbia University, Masters
University of Michigan, BA