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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Girls On The Run- Wrap up and 5k

I know my topics are a little all over the place.  It is going to be loaded with wonderful trips and travel guides, snap shots and scenery, but I also don't want to neglect the little things in life that just make life well... better.   

I have always come off as a confident person who knew what she wanted in life and wasn't afraid to go out and get it.  Maybe that is something all of us girls who want to see the world have in common.  I wanted to take this skill, gift, call it what you like, and share it with others.  I am always volunteering my time to some organization or another, and I am so excited to talk about Girls On The Run.  

It has been about 3.5 months since my post on what is Girls On The Run.  I talked about the amazing organization, and accepting a volunteer position to coach. 

I worked with the older group of girls, technically called "Girls On Track", the program for 6th-8th grade girls (Girls On The Run is 3rd-5th).  I coached a Title One school about 5-10 minutes from my apartment in downtown Salt Lake City.  The Title is "a designation made based on socio-economic demographics that qualify schools for supplemental federal funding".  Title one is the designation given to the schools that need the most federal funding.

The girls were given free sneakers thanks to Payless Shoe Source (It took me about three trips to Payless to finally get everyone the correct shoe size, but I did!).  Harmons donated gift cards so we could buy the girls snacks after school and before we started.  The girls were given t-shirts and water bottles for practice.  A ton of other organizations donated time and money so all of the girls in Title One schools could get into the program for free.  A bus was arranged to bring all of the girls to the race start from their school. 

I had three other coaches helping me and we met with the girls every Tuesday from 3:10 to 5:00.  We were given a manual that had all of the lessons planned out for 20 weeks and a bin with all of the supplies to go with it.  Our program only met once a week so I kind of mixed and matched from the lessons.  
There were three parts to each lesson.  Getting On Board, A Warm Up, and A Workout 
There is a different theme each week such as healthy eating, healthy body images, drugs and alcohol, peer pressure, time management, role models and support. 

The end goal of the program is to run/walk a 5k event with all of the other girls from all the other schools.   The theme of this years 5k was "Be Your Own Hero".  

We got to the race venue at about 7 am for pre-race activities such as the hair station (above), live music, a warm up, tattoos, face paint, and the vendors.  All of the girls were given capes to run in.  Instead of having a unique race number on their bib, all of the girls and coaches wear the bib with number one to symbolize they are all number one, and that time across the finish line does not matter, just that you try your hardest. 

All of the girls are matched up with a Running Buddy.  It can be a coach, or another volunteer who signed up to run the race to run with a girl.  The Running Buddies are just there for moral support and to help the girls accomplish their goal of completing the 5k.  

There were a lot of ups and downs to the program.  Mostly due to the age group.  I am sure we can all remember being middle school girls, what we felt like a hundred things in our schedule and all we wanted to do was sleep in or be with our friends.  Middle schools girls can just be a tough age group, lets be honest.

The first thing I discovered was that some of the girls in my program, have about zero parental support or encouragement.  They are overbooked and overwhelmed with their schedules, and have a hard time keeping anything straight.  They have homework, and church group, and other sports, and obligations from home.  But then there are also girls that show up with bells and whistles, have great support at home, and just want to be there.  The girls that want to be there, and the girls that don't, they all need and enjoy the program so much.  

On the week of the 5k.  I sent the girls home with note cards I made reminding them of the date, the time to meet the bus, what they needed, etc.  I gave them all my number and email incase anyone needed anything.  One of the girls contacted me about not having a ride to the school because her moms "car was taken away".  I spent the week contacting different people to get her a ride to the school in the morning to catch the bus.  When her ride waited outside her apartment for 20 minutes and she never showed up, it ruined my morning.  And then when she called me an hour later asking me to pick her up because her mom didn't wake her up, my heart really broke for her. 

But this is about the girls that did show up.  The girls that really wanted to be there, really made this such an amazing experience for me and showed up to the 5k (we had about 4 girls from the program show up out of 15+).  Looking at these girls I was truly amazed at how hard they work to be the best they can be.  They are polite, they are sweet, they want to succeed, they are kind.  They went from running to their lockers to running a 5k with confidence.  One of the girls even finished the 5k in 27 minutes.  She was also wearing jean shorts (and in 6th grade).  But the best part?  After she finished her 5k she was running around the park trying to find me to tell me about her time.  A.  she wasn't tired and B.  it was really important for her to come and tell me.  Now that made the 3+ months all worth it and then some.  

What really got to me was that the boys at the school were really jealous and asking for Boys On The Run.  How amazing is that?

I am passionate about a bunch of things in life.  And a few of them are represented in Girls On The Run.  Empowering girls to be a positive role model, to be healthy, to be independent.  In this day and age, we need more programs like this to remind girls and young women just how important, smart, and beautiful they are.  Volunteering with Girls On The Run was an amazing opportunity and a humbling one.  How lucky am I to be a positive influence on a wonderful group of little girls. 

Oh, and thankful- they are oh so thankful.  Here are some thank you notes we wrote to our sponsors.  

If you want to do the same, head on over to  Find a chapter near you (they are all over the US!) and sign up to volunteer your time as a running buddy, coach, or race day volunteer. One million girls have benefited from Girls On The Run, and we are hoping for 2 million by 2020.  

You can also support the Kind CampaignKind Campaign is "an internationally recognized movement, documentary and school program based upon the powerful belief in KINDness".  Kind Campaign brings awareness and healing to the negative and lasting effects of girl-against-girl “crime"".  

I bought an amazing shirt from this organization that spells "I AM ENOUGH" on the front and "FIND KIND" on the back.  


  1. so so great! LOVE that you do this :)


    1. Such a great experience! I am truly humbled :) Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Such a great cause! If only I didn't have this pesky full time job, I would LOVE to do this! (Seriously the job is a real time killer...)

    1. Darn those jobs! Yeah it is hard to find time. But you should sign up to be a running buddy the day of the race! a one day commitment to run the 5k with a girl :) I am sure there is one near you next spring!

  3. I have always wanted to do something like this, but I can't because I work full time. Maybe one day I will be able to do something like this.


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