Fiona Richards: How I learned to Embrace Running

Fiona Richards
Participant

Fiona Richards: How I Learned to Embrace Running

Name: Fiona Richards
Age: 11
School: Forsyth School 
Favorite Class: Social Studies, because she loves learning about other cultures.
Hobbies: Guitar, Cycle cross and Running 
Family: Mom – Wendy, Dad – Neil, and Little Brother – Declan 
 
How would you explain Girls on the Run to someone who doesn’t’ know what it is?
I would tell them that Girls on the Run is for girls who might be nervous about running or being active, but that they learn about self-esteem and how to be a good friend, while learning to run. It will make you feel happy and confident, and it is fun. 
 
One wish for Girls on the Run:
I would wish that lots of girls would be able to do Girls on the Run because it reduces your stress and makes you feel good about yourself when you meet a goal. 
 
Fiona’s Story:
Fiona’s first season participating in GOTR-STL was in third grade at Forsyth School. The farthest she had ever run was the mile in P.E. class, but was not very excited about the idea of running a 5K. She was unsure of the Girls on the Run program, but she decided to keep going. Her goal for that first 5K was to just finish the race. The best part, and the part the helped her keep moving, was that her dad, Neil, was her running buddy, and it was his first 5K too! They trained together, and still do, and not only was Fiona able to finish the race, but she started to feel positive about running. Her mom Wendy signed her up for another 5K the next month, and since then Fiona has joined a Cross Country team, where she competitively runs the 3K (the distance for her age group). 
 
Fiona and her whole family love to explore new cities by running or biking through them. This past summer, her family was in the Netherlands, and spent a lot of time exploring by biking. She also does cycle cross competitions with her dad, speed work on the track at Wash U., and her younger brother Declan has even joined the cross country team! 
 
Fiona will be the first one to tell you that “running makes me happy, when I’m stressed with homework or am getting nervous about a big test, I like to go for a run to calm down”. She sites herself as an endurance runner, and loves to run the longer distances, and encourages others to push themselves, try something they have never done before, and find what activity they love.