Behind The Scenes: Natalie Morales Cover

Get an inside view of the Women's Running cover model shoot featuring Today show host, Natalie Morales.

When the Today show wrapped, Natalie Morales hopped into a taxi and made her way to a studio in Brooklyn, N.Y. After the runner/mom/triathlete traded in her summer dress for spandex, she was ready to run.


Morales’ crew got into the spirit—sandal, high heels, sunglasses and all—to go for a (very) short jog. From left: Melanie Mezzacappa, Edna de JesusNatalie Morales, James Ferrell, Melissa Mellert (art director), Jessica Sebor (editor in chief), Megan Knopf (Today PR director).


Just like Morales, Melanie Mezzacappa and Edna de Jesus arrived at the studio after a full day of work. As hair and makeup personnel for Today, their mornings start before 5 a.m. Mezzacappa perfected our cover model’s pony tail, while de Jesus used a bit of extra foundation to cover a biking scar on her leg.


Brooklyn-based photographer James Farrell ( shot Morales in Fast Ashleys Studios ( “My girlfriend watches you every morning!” Farrell told the news anchor as she practiced running toward the camera.


The crew fueled on organic blueberry crumbles, green salad and sandwiches with inspiring names from a local cafe. After the shoot, Natalie tucked into the “Skylight” (turkey, Swiss and tomato) to keep her energy up.


Following a few bouts with running injuries, Morales switched started incorporating triathlon training into her regimen and fell in love. The tri-specific apparel and shoes from Sugio and Zoot were familiar gear for the newscaster. “I think I have these shoes!” Morales laughed.

Morales donned the Sugoi Blast Tri Tank and Blast Tri Shorts ($60 and $55, and the Zoot Ultra TT 5.0 ($140, for the cover of the September/October 2012 issue of Women’s Running magazine.