Today, I had the honor of running in the 3rd Annual Girls on the Run 5k. I love this event and have been apart of it since it began in our town in 2011. If you don't have girls, like myself, you probably never heard of this non-profit organization, but it is truly amazing! The 10 week program that is done twice a year in area elementary and middle schools is designed to educates and prepare girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living. Each program ends with a huge personal accomplishment, running in their first official 5k race.
So, you are probably wondering how a mother of three boy got involved in a girls running program? Well, I was actually introduced to the organization by a friend of a friend that knew I loved running. She was in need of volunteers and asked me if I would be interested in being a "running buddy" for a child that didn't have an adult to run with on their 5k race. Of course, I said "YES" and the rest is history. I have had the great fortune to be a "running buddy" every year since. Last year, I even decided to give a little more to the program and became a coach to a group of middle school girls. I can honestly say it is a life-changing experience getting to encouraging, inspire, and motivate a child to accomplish something they didn't think they could! Plus, I always enjoy sharing my love of a healthy living and running, so it couldn't have been a better fit! In my opinion, the Girls on the Run program is empowering girls of today to become extraordinary women of tomorrow.
So, this year was extra special to me. My "running buddy" for the Girls on the Run 5k was my beautiful niece, Shelby! I was so excited to be able to share this experience with her and hopefully she had as much fun as I did.
We were joined on this race with my "running buddy" from last spring, Destini. It was so great to be able to run with the two of them. They each encourage and motivated one another throughout the entire race, and I think that pushed each other more than I ever could! I couldn't be more proud of those two girls and what they accomplished!
Shelby, who I would go so far as to say, rocked her first race, finished with an impressive time of 34:36. Destini did an outstanding job on her second GOTR 5k and finished in 34:25, beating her previous 5k by five minutes! And myself, I finished in 34:37, of course right behind the two long legged, fast sprinting girls! I was 12 in my age category and placed 162 overall out of 500. Not to bad for two young girls and a not-so-young lady!
|The girls and I after the Girls on the Run 5k.|
Have you ever heard of Girls on the Run? If so, how did you find out about the organization? Have you ever ran a Girls on the Run 5k?