Volunteer Spotlight: Fall 2019 SoleMates
This fall, Girls on the Run St. Louis is proud to support 18 runners dedicating their miles to the Girls on the Run St. Louis Scholarship Fund. In total, our runners are participating in five different races—locally and nationally—in an effort to ensure girls can continue to access and be successful in the Girls on the Run program. From 5Ks to full marathons, our runners will raise over $10,000 for the girls across our region.
Our SoleMates are incredibly dedicated to their own personal goals and to Girls on the Run. Learn from a few of our fall SoleMates about what this experience means to them:
Why are you drawn to the GOTR mission?
Being a long-time runner myself, I have learned many things through the sport. The number one thing that has impacted me is the level of support that my fellow runners provide to one another. Runners come in all shapes, sizes, backgrounds and training levels, and I have felt the support through all of my own personal stages in my training. I have been so inspired by running, and I want to echo the support that I have received, by sharing it with our younger generations. I want to help by supporting a group that provides so many great experiences to these young girls, giving those opportunities that can change their lives for the better!
I have a daughter that I hope will be a part of the program in the next couple of years. She has already told me that she won't be able to run that far. I can't wait to see how proud she will be of her accomplishment when she puts in the work and runs the 5K.
Girls on the Run actually found me when I joined my sorority in college in the fall of 2015. Girls on the Run's Southwest MO Council was our philanthropy and I was involved in supporting the program every semester I was in college. From the second I learned about GOTR, I knew I personally wanted to support this organization. When I think back to my own experiences growing up, there are so many skills taught in GOTR that would have been so valuable had I received them in my childhood. I see so many students as a teacher and really have seen the way girls stop participating in sports at recess around boys and become more self-conscious as they get older. I know these girls have so much potential and so much to offer the world, but they are sometimes too intimidated to speak out and share their gifts. I will always support GOTR because they empower the girls of today to be healthy both inside and out and develop leadership skills and teamwork skills that these girls will absolutely use to change the world one day.
The mission is something that every girl needs to have in her life! I feel that GOTR provides an opportunity for girls that may not otherwise have it: setting and working towards goals while learning to understand and express their feelings in order to feel good about themselves and make good decisions.
Why did you choose to sign up as a SoleMate this fall and at this time in your life?
What better time than the present to do something good for myself that can help others! I'm always up for a challenge, and the full marathon was the direction my training was taking me.
This will be my 8th marathon and with almost all of the previous races, I have partnered with a charity during my training. Again, because I know my daughter will be involved in the program soon, I thought this would be a good year to connect.
In my four years at Missouri State, I was involved in the GOTR 5K in Springfield almost every semester as a cheering group, running buddy, or pre-race activity volunteer and I knew I was going to miss being involved in the program since I was no longer in college. I am currently training for a half marathon this December and I knew I wanted to run some 5Ks this fall to use as check points throughout my training. When I saw the opportunity to participate as a SoleMate, I knew this was the perfect way to keep GOTR in my life postgrad.
Working towards a marathon is hard, particularly with all the distractions that summer and life in general provides. I felt that becoming a Solemate solidified my commitment to GOTR and training. I became a Solemate to share my love of the GOTR program while asking others to help me with my efforts which can be hard for me to but helps me to grow and get out of my comfort zone.
How does participating as a GOTR SoleMate help you with your training?
Knowing that there is a group relying on my fundraising and training abilities is a huge motivator to get me going every morning. I want to cross the finish line of the MO'Cowbell Marathon with a huge smile on my face, knowing that I put in the time and effort, getting support from so many friends and family members and teammates with an amazing goal to finish!
My participation as a Solemate has helped during my training as a motivation to get up early and get out the door. Through raising money and awareness, I hope that even more girls can be involved in the program.
I think participating as a GOTR SoleMate has added another level of meaning to my training. I'm not just running for myself or to get a best time for me, I'm running to allow young girls the opportunity to access this program that will change their lives. Knowing that this race is bigger than just me helps keep me motivated and excited on my runs even when I get tired or the runs get long.
It provides me motivation on days when it's a struggle to get out of the door; knowing that the efforts I put forth allow girls access to such an amazing program that helps them grow in a way that isn't always taught in the classroom!
Interested in becoming a GOTR SoleMate for a goal you are trying to reach? Fill out the SoleMate Interest Form today!
Check out our awesome incentives for participating as GOTR SoleMate during GO! Family & Fitness Weekend in March 2020.