In this blog, we are going to get to know one of our most enthusiastic and energetic Skydio Featured Flyers, Hellah Sidibe . At Skydio we are not only working to empower our customers to capture incredible videos and photos, but we also want to have a larger positive impact on the world around us. We are always looking for opportunities where Skydio can provide value to causes we believe in. It’s for that reason that we were stoked to partner with Hellah on his upcoming run across the continental United States. This week we sat down with Hellah to learn a bit more about how he’s using his platform to be a positive force in the world and how Skydio is helping along the way.
Tell us a little bit about who you are and some of your proudest accomplishments?
My name is Hellah Sidibe and I’ve been running every day since May 15, 2017. I was inspired by a car Youtuber, Paul Wallace, who had a New Year’s resolution to run every day for a year. I thought to myself, I’m an athlete — that should be easy for me! I hated running, but I wanted to try it for two weeks. I grew up playing soccer from the time I could walk up to the professional level so running was always a part of my athletics but never something I wanted to do off the field. After the first few days, I was already increasing my time and distance and after the two weeks were up, I just continued. I felt like it was something I could do the rest of my life but didn’t want to get too ahead of myself and made a more achievable goal; I would run every day for a year. On day 163 of the journey, I put a video on youtube about my streak, and months later it started catching on. People were asking for updates and wondering how they, too, could join the challenge. That video launched the amazing running community I’m surrounded by today. Something I always hated turned into my biggest passion and a way for me to change people’s lives. Some of my proudest accomplishments include hosting a creator spotlight for Youtube’s #YoutubeBlack, running the 2019 NYC Marathon, becoming a United States citizen, and working with Charity:Water to bring clean water to my home country! For all of these accomplishments, I have running to thank in some way or another.
Tell us about your upcoming transcontinental run?
In 2019 after finishing year 2 of running every day I told myself I wanted to run across the country as my next challenge. Year one of the run streak was a true challenge but the years following have felt more like a routine than anything else. I was craving something bigger and crazier. I started planning to start the run in March 2020 but when the pandemic hit I knew I’d have to postpone. It was something I wanted my community to be able to be involved in and that wouldn’t have been able to happen safely at that time. Looking back, I’m really glad that I had to postpone because I was able to learn so much about my body and test myself in preparation for what’s to come. I feel so much more equipped now than I did a year ago and even though things still aren’t back to normal, we can take all necessary safety precautions to get people involved. That may look like having people join the run with masks and socially distanced or following along virtually, but either way, I’m excited to finally get started and share the journey with as many people as I can. I’m hoping this run inspires my followers and whoever else I cross paths with to do something that makes them happy no matter how crazy it may sound. I want it to be about so much more than just me. I want it to be something that can bring positivity and unification to our country while it’s becoming more divided. Running is a sport that you see so much unity in and I hope that spreads along this run.
We’re excited to see that you’ll be taking your Skydio 2 along for the ride. What do you love most about the Skydio 2 and how has it helped you?
Skydio 2 is just on another level. The fact that I don’t even have to control it and it just gets all the right shots and angles makes everyone’s job so much easier. All I do is set it up, run, and get the coolest clips. I always have people wondering how I got those certain shots and the fact that they can’t be sure if it was a drone makes me feel like it’s really doing its job well. It’s insanely user-friendly and that’s just one of the many great features.
What are you most excited to capture with your Skydio 2 during this epic run?
I’m so pumped to document myself in all 15 states and terrains on the Skydio. We’ve been coming up with some ideas and one I’m really excited about is doing a timelapse following me across the country. I can’t wait to see what we get with it but I know whatever it is will be nothing short of amazing!
What is your favorite video that you’ve shot with your Skydio 2, what do you love about it?
My favorite video I’ve shot on my Skydio 2 was a snow run video in my local park. I couldn’t believe it got the shots it did while flying in a full on snow storm. Didn’t even cover the lens!
*Flying in severe weather, rain or snow is not recommended by Skydio*
What is your favorite Skydio Skill, Tip or Trick?
The best feature in my book is autonomous flight. When I first started playing with Skydio 2, I went for a trail run and I couldn’t stop watching it because I was so amazed at how well it was dodging trees, diving and climbing, and zooming around. I love when people see me out with it and ask me who’s controlling it. Their faces when I tell them it does it on its own are priceless!
Before we go, let’s talk about your partnership with Soles4Souls and the work you are doing with them as a part of the transcontinental.
All you need to go out for a run is a pair of shoes. When I was coming up with ideas on nonprofits and charities I wanted to support during my run, I found Soles4Souls . Their mission aligns perfectly with my past and present lifestyle and values. I grew up in West Africa, Mali and I remember getting a “new” pair of shoes that I’d have to make last for a few years. Soles4Souls turns unwanted shoes (and clothing) into opportunity by keeping them from going to waste and putting them to good use — providing relief, creating jobs and empowering people to break the cycle of poverty. When I found them I knew I wanted to partner with them for the run and bring awareness to the importance of a pair of shoes on someone’s life.
We are all excited to watch you run across the country but how can we get more involved and support your goals on this incredible journey?
I’m ready to collect shoes and donations to support Soles4Souls mission of breaking the cycle of poverty through shoes! I have a page set up with them to collect donations and we’ll be updating everyone along the way with ways they can text in to donate and support along the run! If anybody wants to set up a shoe drive within their community we will have all the information here .