Program FAQs

Do you offer scholarships?

Yes. It is the mission of Girls on the Run St. Louis (GOTR-STL) to offer our program to all girls who desire to participate, regardless of their financial status. Families who are unable to pay the program registration fees will be awarded financial assistance based on their income. In the past year, GOTR-STL provided more than $250,000 in scholarships and expects to provide $290,000 in the 2012/2013 school year. Our goal is to never turn a girl away for financial reasons.

Who is eligible for a scholarship?

Any registered Girls on the Run or Girls on Track participant is eligible for a scholarship, regardless of the program fee at her site. Families requesting financial assistance through the online registration process will be prompted to provide their annual household income as well as the number of people living in the household. This information will be used in order to provide the family with a suggested fee. Special circumstances are also considered. GOTR-STL requests all scholarship recipients to pay a portion of the program fee.

Why are program fees different at different schools/sites?

GOTR-STL serves a large territory with a diverse population. In order to price the program at affordable rates, GOTR-STL offers site-based fees on a sliding scale, ranging from $25 to $150. Due to diversity within individual sites, participants are eligible for scholarships regardless of the program fee at her site.

How is the site’s fee determined?

Consultants from Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis developed a model to fairly and objectively determine the appropriate fee at a given site. GOTR-STL runs several economic data points through a regression analysis to determine the appropriate fee for each site.

Does the program fee I pay subsidize other girls’ program fees?

No, the program fee each individual pays is used to cover the costs of the program for that individual girl. Program fees are subsidized through the generosity of individuals, corporations, foundations and grants. Many families choose to make a donation to the scholarship fund in addition to paying for their child’s program fee. GOTR-STL appreciates the generosity of parents and other individuals who help make our scholarship program possible by donating during program registration, online or by participating in fundraisers.

Can a school, school district, PTA/PTO, etc. subsidize the program fee?

No, in an effort to maintain the value of the program, GOTR-STL does not allow outside entities to subsidize the program fee at a site. If the site, school district or other organization would like to contribute to the scholarship fund, the donations would be welcomed with much appreciation. However, the donations would not change the program fee at a given site.

Do you offer a sibling discount?

Yes. If a family has more than one daughter participating in Girls on the Run or Girls on Track, the may pay the full program fee for the first daughter and half of the program fee for any additional children.

Note- Parents cannot request a scholarship and use a sibling discount code. They must choose between the scholarship or sibling discount.

What options do I have to pay the program fee?

Payment by credit card is the preferred option (all major credit cards are accepted). Checks and money orders made out to Girls on the Run St. Louis are also accepted. GOTR-STL also encourages families to call the office to set up a personal plan to pay the fee in installments in order to make the program fee more manageable for the family.

Can I pay the program fee in installments?

Yes. If parents would like to pay the program fee in installments, they will be able to make partial payments via credit card or check. GOTR-STL offers recommended payment dates, but parents can contact our office to set up a customized payment plan.

Do coaches have to pay for their daughters if they participate in the program?

Yes. However, coaches are welcome to utilize the scholarship and payment plan options for their daughters if the family is unable to pay the fee. Additionally, coaches will have the opportunity to “lock-in” their daughters during an early registration period.

Can program fees be refunded?

The girl’s parent/guardian (not the coach) is responsible for contacting GOTR-STL if their daughter is dropping from the program. GOTR-STL will issue a full refund if a girl drops the program by the end of the second week of practice. A 50% refund will be given during the third week of practice. No refund will be issued for any cancellations after 5:00 p.m. on the Friday of the third week. If a site is canceled due to insufficient registration or other circumstances deemed appropriate by the program director, the full registration fee will be refunded.

When is the program fee due?

Families have the option to pay the fee at the time of registration with a credit card or set up an alternative payment schedule with the GOTR-STL office. In case of a lottery, refunds will be issued. The registration confirmation email will provide additional details. If a family opts to pay by check, they do not need to send a check until their daughter is confirmed to the team.

After registration closes, all registered participants will receive follow-up emails notifying them of their status, as follows:

- Girls at sites with teams that have not been over-subscribed will receive a confirmation email confirming their participation in the program. At this time, the family can mail in a check if they chose that payment option.

- Girls at sites with teams are oversubscribed (17+ girls per team) will be automatically entered into a random lottery. Once the lottery is completed, parents will be notified whether or not their daughter has been added to the team.

GOTR-STL will follow up with families who have not paid their daughter’s registration fee during the season. Failure to pay the participant’s fee will affect her eligibility to participate in the future. If a participant has an outstanding balance from a previous season, she will not be able to participate again until the family contacts GOTR-STL to set up a payment plan or discuss alternative options.

Is Girls on the Run St. Louis a non-profit and what is the organization’s relationship to Girls on the Run International?

Yes, GOTR-STL is a non-profit organization. GOTR-STL is a council of Girls on Run International (GOTRI), but operates as an independent 501©3. GOTR-STL does not receive financial support from GOTRI. GOTR-STL pays dues to GOTRI in order to deliver the program to the girls in the St. Louis metropolitan area.

Will I have to pay anything else throughout the course of a Girls on the Run season?

GOTR-STL highly encourages each girl to have a running buddy at the 5k event. The running buddy’s race registration fee is not included in the program registration fee. Whether it’s a parent, relative, neighbor or friend who runs with the participant at the race, they are expected to register for the 5k, which costs $25 for early registration and $30 for late registration. Girls on the Run and Girls on Track participants’ race registration is included in the program fee.

Is there anything I can do to help GOTR-STL raise money?

Yes! There are a number of ways individuals can help GOTR-STL’s fundraising efforts.

  • Runners, walkers, cyclists and tri-athletes can check out the SoleMates charity running program.
  • Individuals affiliated with a corporation that may be interested in sponsoring a Girls on the Run or Girls on Track team, matching donations from employees or giving to the organization based on employee volunteer hours can contact our office for more information.
  • Details about additional GOTR-STL fundraisers are shared in the monthly newsletter.

Coaching FAQs

Do coaches have to be runners?

No, coaches do not have to be runners. Anyone woman or man who lives a healthy lifestyle and is committed to improving the lives of girls can serve as a coach.

When is the program offered and how long is the program?

We offer the program twice a year. Our fall season is typically September – November and our spring season is typically February – May. Each program season is 10 weeks long. Practices are usually held after school in the 3 – 5 p.m. timeframe, twice a week.

How many girls and coaches are on a team?

Team size is between 8 and 17 girls and at least 2 trained coaches present at practice for each team. The curriculum was designed for a group this size to facilitate team building and a healthy group dynamic. Fewer than eight girls and more than 17 make it difficult to provide the experience we seek to offer the girls. If a site does not have the minimum number of girls by the close of registration, parents will be notified and refunds will be given. Some sites will have more than one team, but it’s dependent upon the number of trained volunteer coaches and practice space available at the site.

Where does the program take place?

The majority of our programs are school based. View our locations.

What is the expected time commitment for coaches?

During the season, coaches should expect to volunteer an average of 2 – 5 hours per week (the time commitment depends on if you attend practice once or twice per week). This includes: each practice is about an hour and a half, time on-site before and after practice, curriculum preparation, snack purchasing/preparation, as well as communication with other coaches, girls’ families and GOTR staff.

What are the requirements and responsibilities for coaches?

Coach requirements and responsibilities are differ based on the coaching roles. Click on the roles for a full description that includes responsibilities, qualifications, requirements and benefits for each role.

What if I am only able to attend practice one time per week?

It’s not a problem if you are unable to commit to attend practice two days a week. We have many volunteers who are only able to attend practice once a week.

How do I become a coach?

  1. Read through the coach position descriptions and find out which role would work best for you
  2. Complete the coach registration form online (New Coaches Training RSVP is included in coach registration)
  3. Attend one of the New Coaches Training sessions (Coaches training sessions are typically held in July/August prior to the fall season and in January prior to the spring season.)

Do I have to attend training?

Site Liaisons, Head Coaches and Assistant Coaches who have not previously attended a New Coaches Training session, are required to attend the 4-hour session prior to the start of the season. Practice Partners are not required to attend training but we encourage everyone to attend training. If you are a new coach who is not affiliated (parent or teacher) with a GOTR site you are required to attend the New Coaches Training or attend a group orientation session. Returning trained coaches will be required to view a short online training refresher.

If you have further questions about coaching or getting involved call us at (314) 862-6266 or email us at info@girlsontherunstlouis.org.

Registration FAQs

How many girls are on a team?

Team size is between 8 and 17 girls. The curriculum was designed for a group this size to facilitate team building and a healthy group dynamic. Fewer than eight girls and more than 17 make it difficult to provide the experience we seek to offer the girls. If a site does not have the minimum number of girls by the close of registration, parents will be notified and refunds will be given. Some sites will have more than one team, but it’s dependent upon the number of trained volunteer coaches and practice space available at the site.

How are participants chosen?

In an effort to make the program accessible, program registration is not first come, first served. In the event that there are more girls interested in participating at a particular site than available spots, GOTR-STL’s online registration system will randomly select girls to form the team(s). Girls are not chosen on a first-come, first-served basis during the general registration period.

Are there any fees for Girls on the Run?

Yes. View Program Fees for more details.

What if I have difficulty paying the fee?

Payment plans are available for those who would like to make payments in installments.

Scholarships are available based on financial need. In the past year, Girls on the Run St. Louis provided more than $330,000 in scholarships and expects to provide $380,000 in the 2013/2014 school year. It is a priority of GOTR-STL to never turn a girl away for financial reasons. Any registered participant is eligible for a scholarship, regardless of the program fee at her site. While assistance is awarded based on annual income and number of people living in your household, special circumstances that contribute to a request for financial assistance are certainly considered. GOTR-STL requests all scholarship recipients to pay a portion of the program fee, however minimal the amount that may be, so there is buy-in and a sense of pride and ownership, which helps with attendance and engagement. Scholarship requests can be made during the online registration process.

Sibling discounts are also an option for anyone who has 2 or more siblings in the program during the same season. The first girl pays the entire fee and any subsequent siblings pay 50% of the fee.

Can my daughter participate in GOTR at another site if the program is not at her school?

GOTR St. Louis aspires to make the program accessible to as many girls as possible regardless of the program being offered at a site. Our policy is to allow girls to participate at a school that they do not attend if: transportation is not an issue, the girl is able to attend the entire practice, the school does not have policies in place that would preclude participation, and the girl is grade-eligible for the program. Be aware that girls who attend the school get first preference to participate on the Girls on the Run team. View a complete list of our locations in Missouri and Illinois.

Bringing the program to your site is also an option. Visit Start a Site for more information. Please be advised that site applications are due approximately four months prior to the start of the season.

My daughter can only attend one practice per week. Can I still register her for the program?

No. Full participation lends to a healthy group dynamic, an experiential learning process and provides appropriate training for the end-of -season 5k. Girls who are absent for more than 4 practices during one season are in violation of the GOTR attendance policy.

5k FAQs

Where can I park?

Ride the Metrolink and avoid parking downtown! The Civic Center stop is one block from race village.

There is plenty of street parking with meters surrounding the race village. As of July 2013, the City of St. Louis is enforcing parking meter charges downtown. If you choose to park on the street, you will need to pay the meter. There is typically a two hour time limit.

There will be several parking lots open the morning of the 5k. They will be charging $5 per vehicle. This is a great option to avoid having to return to your car to feed the parking meter.

Handicapped parking is available on Market St. between 13th St. and Tucker

Where do I meet my team?

Meet your team in our School Village area. Teams will be lined up in alphabetical order beginning on Market near 15th St. and extending down Market to 13th, across 13th to Chestnut, and down Chestnut towards Tucker. There will be an elevated sign for each school/site so just look for your team name.

The 5k will start at 8am on May 9. We recommend arriving no later than 7am to ensure ample time for parking. We will have activities for the girls and families in race village up until the start of the 5k.

Where can I meet my runner after she has finished?

The most convenient place to meet your runner is back at her school meeting place where she started the race. Only race participants will be allowed into the finisher’s chute and the large crowd will make it difficult for you to spot her leaving the chute. Even if you are running the race with your GOTR, we recommend that you pick a meeting spot in advance in case you get separated. Inside the finish chute or at the end of the finish chute are not good meeting places.

Beginning Fall 2014, we made the opening at the end of the finisher's chute much wider to accomodate the crowds leaving the chute. Please do not wait for your runner at the end of the finisher's chute - you block the flow of traffic from the chute and due to the large number of people, it is unlikely that you will be able to spot your runner in the crowd.

Potential meeting locations:

  • At your runner's school sign where she started the 5k (preferred)
  • The statue in the park located next to the finish chute, across from Peabody Opera House
  • The steps or one of the statues at Soldiers Memorial
  • The Information Tent in Race Village

What if I can't find my runner and/or she can't find me?

If you can’t find your runner, please go to the Information Tent in race village (you might want to check the DJ/dance area first). Race officials and volunteers will take any unattended children to the Information Tent.

Do I have to register for the race to run with my daughter?

Yes, for safety reasons, all runners must be registered. This is also our largest fundraiser which helps keep the price of the program as low as possible for all girls to participate, regardless of ability to pay.

What happens if it rains?

We will run rain or shine but may delay or cancel the race if the weather is severe. Check our website and Facebook page for updates. No refunds will be given for cancellation for any reason, including weather.

SoleMates FAQs

Do I register for my race or will GOTR-STL register for me?

You will need to register for your goal race on your own.  For certain races, GOTR-STL is a featured charity and may offer a discounted registration fee.  Please email solemates@girlsontherunstlouis.org to see if your race qualifies.

Several friends and I would like to run together, can you have a team as a SoleMate?

Groups can register to run as a SoleMates team.  The team captain must register first and create the team name.  The individual members of the team then register and join the team.  Teams will receive one online fundraising page where they can direct donors.

How do I find donations and donors?

When you register as a SoleMate, you will receive an email with the link to your personal fundraising web page, which you may customize with your own reasons for supporting Girls on the Run St. Louis, add pictures, etc.  You can send the link to all of your friends and family and they can donate online.  Cash and checks can also be taken.
In addition, you may also plan a fundraising event, from a party at a home or local restaurant, to an event at a boutique.  Our SoleMates runners have successfully used social media outlets to link possible donors to the web page as well.

Is there a training plan, and will there be training runs?

Girls on the Run International has worked with Jenny Hadfield, co-author of the best-selling book "Marathoning for Mortals" to create a training plan for SoleMates of all abilities.  In addition, charity runners have the opportunity to train with a variety of local training partners for any event from a 5k to a full marathon or triathlon.  GOTR-STL hosts special social runs and events several times each year and there are informal group runs organized via the Facebook group page.

Are donations that I receive tax deductible for the donors?

Girls on the Run St. Louis is a 501(c)3 organization and all donations are tax deductible.  Online donors will receive a receipt electronically and cash and check donors will receive their receipt in the mail.  Checks must be made out to "Girls on the Run St. Louis."

How much money do I have to raise?

The fundraising minimums are dependent upon the distance of your goal race. View SoleMates fundraising levels.

How long do I have to raise the fundraising minimum?

An individual SoleMate or team has 30 days after their goal race to meet the fundraising minimum.

What happens if I don't reach my fundraising goal by the date of my race?

When an individual or team registers as a SoleMate they agree to meet the fundraising minimum for their selected goal race.  If you do not raise the minimum, any balance between actual funds raised and the required fundraising minimum will be charged to the credit card on file 3o days after the goal race.

How do I sign up for Girls on the Run St. Louis SoleMates?

Register to become a SoleMate.  Be sure to select the appropriate fundraising level for your goal race.