Girls On The Run is one outstanding and inspiring group. If you don't know about them, here is their mission statement:
We inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.
Girls on the Run is a transformational learning program for 8 to 13 year-old girls. We teach life skills through dynamic, conversation-based lessons and running games. The program culminates with the girls being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5k running event. The goal of the program is to unleash confidence through accomplishment while establishing a lifetime appreciation of health and fitness.
I LOVE THIS!! I really wish there was something like this around when I was younger...
I've been hearing nothing but good things about this organization and finally started checking into volunteering a month or so ago.
Thankfully I heard back from Jen (their local Boston chapter's main contact) quickly and she let me know about today's event. The girls would be taking part in Walter's Run 5k in West Roxbury and they were looking for volunteers.
Yes! I was ready. :)
I arrived at the meeting spot - West Roxbury YMCA - early of course, but thankfully located the Girls On The Run Table. The pre-race scene was awesome. Seeing the girls meeting up with their coaches and running buddies, while also getting their "happy hair" (think pink hairspray) and some temporary tattoos from Athleta. I was really good at holding the water, paper towels and temporary tattoos for the ladies of Athleta. :P
I did try my hand at some spray painting for a little girl who arrived a little late - decent work I would say. :)
As the girls and their coaches/running buddies were heading to stretch, Jen let another volunteer Kate and I know they had a couple spare numbers if we wanted to run the 5k as well.
Twist my arm ... I was game. ;) Introduce Race #29 of 2012 - now this should be the last.
Since I wasn't sure if they needed extra running buddies or not I had arrived dressed to run - just in case. Plus, I had no idea how to dress for a race as a "volunteer" since I'm always participating. ;)
Kate and I grabbed numbers and headed to the Start Line. It was great to meet her, especially since she is also training for the 2013 Boston Marathon with a charity team so we had a lot to chat about.
We ran the first 2 miles together and it was nice. A nice casual pace since I had done a training run with Tedy's Team yesterday.
Kate and I parted ways at the 2 mile mark so I ran the rest alone - taking in the scene and cheering on the Girls On The Run participants I saw as I ran.
Then the hill hit.
Wha? I had not looked at the course map (I know - the usual) and did not see such a large hill on the horizon. There were volunteers saying "awesome job on the hill" so I thought I had reached the top. WRONG! As we turned left there was more hill.
BUT, this meant a nice downhill on the way to the Finish Line.
Since I hadn't signed up for the run officially, we will use my Garmin as the official time.
As soon as I crossed the Finish Line, I was handed a posterboard and cheered on the rest of the Girls On The Run participants as they approached the Finish Line.
It was SOOO much fun. I love running. I love cheering. It was awesome to see all of their faces lighting up as they realized they were about to finish.
My fellow cheerleaders
After the final runner crossed the Line
This woman was so inspiring!
we ended indoors for a pizza party and awards ceremony.
I loved all the posters hanging around the room!
The girls' faces lit up when they found themselves or their friends in a picture on the poster.
In addition to a great certificate that each girl got showcasing how awesome they were, they were each given a pretty sweet medal as well.
Yes I was allowed to take one too for my collection! ;)
I am so lucky to have been able to be a part of the event this morning. It was a great experience and after chatting with Jen and Lori (the other main organizer) I really hope I can become more involved with the program ... and maybe even become a Coach ... in 2013!
I will definitely be helping with the Girls On The Run 5k in the Spring - as much as they will let me do!! We know I like planning races (see Birthday 5k). :)
Overall this was one awesome Sunday!! The girls really motivated me...