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 $365,000 in scholarships. 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 Heart & Sole 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 $175. 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 Heart & Sole, the may pay the full program fee for the first registered child and half of the program fee for any additional registered children in their family. Note - Parents cannot request a scholarship and use a sibling discount code. Whichever is the greater discount will be applied.

What options do I have to pay the program fee?

Payment by credit card (all major credit cards are accepted) or e-check are the preferred options. Money orders made out to Girls on the Run St. Louis are also accepted. 

Can I pay the program fee in installments?

Yes. If a family would like to pay the program fee in installments, they will be able to make partial payments. An initial payment is due at time of registration with either 1 or 2 additional payments due over the course of the season.  If additional assistance is needed, please contact the GOTR-STL offices to make arrangements.

Do coaches have to pay for their daughter(s) if they participate in the program?

Yes. However, coaches are welcome to utilize the scholarship and payment plan options for their daughter(s). Additionally, coaches are able to guarantee their daughter(s) a spot on the team at their daughter's school.

Can program fees be refunded?

Yes, Girls on the Run St Louis will refund:

  • 100% of the registration fee prior to the end of the second week of the program.
  • 50% of the registration fee prior to the end of the third week of the program.
  • No refunds will be issued after 5:00 p.m. on the Friday of the third week of the program.
  • If a site is canceled due to insufficient registration or other circumstances deemed appropriate by the Director, a full refund will be issued.
  • In the case of a lottery where a girl does not get a spot on a team, a full refund will be issued. 

Note - The refund amount will be based on the date that the Girls on the Run office is notified of cancellation.  All refund and participant cancellation requests must be made by a parent or guardian directly to the Girls on the Run St Louis office - NOT through a coach.   

When is the program fee due?

Families have the option to pay the fee at the time of registration with a credit card or e-check or set up an alternative payment schedule. If a family opts not to pay at the time of registration, inital payment must be received by the first practice.  If a participant has an outstanding balance from a previous season, she will not be allowed to participate again until the family contacts GOTR-STL to pay the outstanding balance, 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 an adult walk/run with her at the end-of-season GOTR 5k event in downtown St Louis. Whether it’s a parent, relative, or family friend, the adult who accompanies your girl must register and pay the entry fee for the 5k event. 

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 athlete 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.

Do coaches have to be runners?

No, coaches do not have to be runners. Anyone woman or man who is committed to empowering girls for a lifetime of healthy living 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 held twice a week for 75-90 minutes, usually after school.  Check out our Locations page to see if your site is participating this season and when they will be practicing.  

How many girls and coaches are on a team?

Team size is between 8 and 17 girls and at least 2 trained coaches are 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. 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. Check out our Locations page to see if the program is taking place at a site near you.

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

As a coach, what if I am only able to attend practice one time per week?

We ask coaches to commit to attend at least one session per week.

How do I become a coach?

Visit the Become a Coach page on our website where you will find the steps to become a coach and complete coach registration if it is open for the season.

Do I have to attend training?

New Site Liaisons, Head Coaches and Assistant Coaches and returning Site Liaisons, Head Coaches and Assistant Coaches who attended training prior to the Fall 2016 season are required to attend in-person coach training prior to the start of the season. Practice Partners are not required to attend in-person training, but are welcome to take part.

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. Visit our Fees Explained page for more details.

What if I have difficulty paying the fee?

Payment plans and need-based scholarships are available through the online registration process.  Any participant is eligible regardless of the program fee at the site. In the past year, Girls on the Run St. Louis provided more than $365,000 in scholarships.  GOTR-STL's goal is to never turn a girl away for financial reasons. 

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

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. Bringing the program to your site is also an option. Check out the Start a Site page of our website for more information.

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

It is critically important to the efficacy of the girls' program experience that they aprticipate in both sessions each week. Participants are not allowed to attend only one session per week.  Due to the importance of group dynamics and the experiential learning process of the curricula, girls who are absent more than four (4) practices during one season will no longer be eligible to participate. 

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.

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 reverse alphabetical order beginning on Market near 15th St. and extending down Market to 13th. There will be an elevated sign for each school/site so just look for your team name.

The 5k will start at 8:00 am in the Spring or 8:30 am in the Fall. We recommend arriving no later than 7:00 am to ensure ample time for parking. We will have activities for the girls and families in Race Village before and during the 5k.

Where can I meet my runner after she has finished?

We recommend one of two convenient places we've set up for reunions. The first recommendation is the Reunion Zone in Race Village within the park where the other activities are taking place. Another effective 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. 

The finisher's chute is wide 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 leaving the chute. Please do not wait for your runner inside the finisher's chute. This area is for runners only, and crowding the space makes it more difficult for volunteers, runners and parents to see each other causing an unsafe situation.

If you'd like to see your runner cross the finish line, we suggest watching from one of the two Cheer Zones designated at the end of the 5k route.

Suggestions for meeting locations:

  • In the Reunion Zone in Race Village
  • At your runner's school sign in School Village where she started the 5k
  • The statue in the park located next to the finish chute, across from Peabody Opera House
  • The Information Tent in Race Village

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

Please make plans to meet after finishing the 5k before it begins. This year, we've added a Reunion Zone to provide an additional area within Race Village for teams and families to meet. After the 5k, we suggest looking at the Reunion Zone and the DJ/dance area first. If you aren't able to find your runner, please go to the Information Tent in race village. Race officials and volunteers will take any unattended children to the Information Tent.

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.