Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Girls On The Run

This past Saturday I had the opportunity to participate as a running buddy in the Girls On The Run 5K at Sugarhouse Park. Girls On The Run is a wonderful program aimed at getting elementary-aged girls involved in running, giving them a sense of empowerment and achievement and promoting a healthy and active lifestyle. One of the masters swimmers that I help coach, Susan DeYoung, is a GOTR coach at Backman Elementary and she recruited me to be a running buddy for one of her girls. We did a practice 5K at the school about month prior to the "real deal", so I had already met my runner, Jenny, and was looking forward to pacing her through another 5K. I knew this would be tougher because the course at Sugarhouse is hillier than what we practiced on, but there was no doubt in my mind that Jenny could do it!

Despite being hot and (relatively) humid, it was a great morning for a run. The festivities started early, with face-painting and hair-coloring available for the girls, as well as samples of Jamba Juice for everyone. After meeting our runners at their designated table, all the different schools came together for a group warm-up led by Cari Jung of OPT-IN Fitness. Then we headed over to the start line and the horn went off! The course consisted of two laps around the road in the park, then a little straightaway at the end into the finish line. Jenny got pretty hot during the run because she was wearing long pants, but by adopting a strategy of alternating running with walking and making sure to stay hydrated she was able to pace herself and complete the 5K in a respectable time. It was so awesome to run down the finishing chute with everyone cheering for her! Each girl got a medal as they crossed the line, and everyone also got pink GOTR t-shirts with the race #1. It was really great not only to see so many girls running, but to also see a lot of familiar adult faces out there supporting the cause. My clients Rebecca and Jordan brought their cute fluffy dog Beau along to run with their two younger kids, and I also bumped into another lady I trained for a while, Shelley Snow. It was a great event and is something I'm excited about being involved with again next year.

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