Girls on the Run is an organization that I have supported for a number of years. I first got introduced to GOTR a few years ago when I was searching for a fun and fast 5K to do in the city (I only do fun themed runs because they make it so much more enjoyable-- I've done the Tinkerbell Half Marathon through Disneyland, the Color Run, the Hot Chocolate Run, the Electric Run, and the Kaiser Permanente 5k). So, when I saw the Lollipop Run, I HAD to do it! My mind couldn't stop day dreaming and I was SO excited that I was going to be running through Candyland!
Well, when I read more about the Lollipop Run I found out that it supports Girls on the Run, a local non-profit with a pretty sweet mission. "The mission of Girls on the Run of the Bay Area is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. We serve girls with programs in San Francisco, Marin, Alameda, San Mateo, and Contra Costa Counties.
Girls on the Run of the Bay Area provides an innovative running program for girls ages 8 to 13 that uses experiential learning to teach very specific and well-defined social and personal skills. The program culminates in a non-competitive community running event that gives the girls a chance to shine and an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. Girls on the Run of the Bay Area offers 10-week programs during the fall and spring seasons. Volunteer coaches engage the girls in games and running-based workouts that encourage emotional, social, psychological and physical development. The girls meet twice each week after school for a total of 20 one-hour sessions. "
The race was not like Candyland! It was a cold, foggy, and misty December morning and I think I was the oldest non-coach runner at the starting line (I sort of blended in with my hot pink attire). I spent the majority of the race jogging alongside young runners and cheering on the little girls who had cramped or had stopped in tears. Like old times, my mom drove me to the race and cheered for me as I passed by. She was even there at the finish line with her signature clap. I have grown up playing sports and can always hear my mom's distinct, powerful, and assertive clap. I will say the race was not easy and her clap was the motivation I needed to cross the finish line. I was so impressed by the GOTR runners who had trained and completed the race. Inspired by the girls, I applied a few seasons ago to be a coach and was accepted into the program. Unfortunately, my USF class schedule presented a conflict and I was unable to coach.
Since I am unable to directly serve the young girls in this program, I contribute a small donation towards two pairs of shoes. I hope you will learn more about this wonderful organization, apply to be a coach, or consider donating!
PERFECT PAIRS FOR THE LOLLIPOP RUN!