When I was living in D.C., I heard about a program called Girls on the Run (GOTR). I looked into it but with the long commute to and from work, I was never able to participate. Fast forward a few years when I move back to Alaska and GOTR is brought to Fairbanks. I signed up to coach and even raised funds through their Solemate program.
GOTR is a program designed to empower young girls through running. I participated as a coach for one semester while working a full-time job, going to school full time, and student teaching. Then medical issues hit and I had to bow out.
Today was this current group of young women’s end of GOTR season 5K run and celebration. Margaret from work went with me – the above photo is of her painting a runner’s face. Pre-race there is face painting and hair spray. I ended up with a blue and white heart plus covered in hair glitter. It’s for the kids, right? Then I ran with the girls on their journey. I encouraged them, I asked them about their day, and we had fun in the sun as a big supportive community for these young women. A celebration of them and their achievement – they moved their amazing bodies three whole miles!
I see myself in them. I started to run when I was about six and haven’t stopped since. I hope they continue to run. It is amazing what running can do both mentally and phsycially.
I went looking for the photo of me before my SoleMate fundraiser marathon. I found so many running photos! I also notice that I’m smiling in all of them – even the ones that were taken at the finish. That good old runner’s high! Simply looking at my past running photos make me grin ear to ear. In three weeks, I’ll be doing my 4th sprint triathlon with my mother. It took me a few years for me to convince my mom to try it and now she is unstoppable. Challenging both your mind and body is simply empowering.
And today, a team of runners attempted to break the 2-hour marathon. Almost. 23 seconds shy! It was something to watch! To think a human can run 26 miles in a little over 2 hours in absolutely AMAZING! I imagine in my lifetime, the 2-hour barrier will be broken. Probably not by me, but I do hope to do a sub-4 marathon eventually.