Girls on the Run—Toward Changing the World

Corban hanging with Benjamin Franklin!

“Corban requested your companionship,” said the text. No, it wasn’t an inappropriate proposition. It was an 8-year-old boy inviting me to get up at an ungodly hour of a Saturday morning (a Saturday when I would have to go into work later) to sit on a sidewalk (probably in the rain as things look now) to watch a 5K race in the city.

I said yes.

First off, an 8-year-old wanting to hang out with you is always an honor!

Izzy and Lisa smiling at the start.

Secondly, it’s not just any race. It’s Girls on the Run (#GOTR).

Corban’s 10-year-old sister Izzy and his mom Lisa will be running. We will be cheering. Just like we did last year.

Girls on the Run isn’t just a race. It is a way for girls to have fun while developing confidence. Confidence that will hopefully lead them to recognize their “limitless potential” and “boldly pursue [their] dreams.” And those dreams, that potential will enable them to make the world a better place. We need that.

Having some fun in the second half!

It’s an opportunity for their running buddies to support the girls they love and challenge themselves as well. Lisa has done C25K (couch to 5K) for the last eight weeks to prepare for Saturday.

It’s inspiring to watch mothers, fathers, siblings, and other running buddies encourage their girls, or be encouraged by their girls to complete the race. There’s laughter, there’s sweat, there’s tears as the finish line is crossed and the challenge is met.

It’s almost worth getting up at 5:30 am on a Saturday.

Almost to the finish line. An emotional trip around the track before a cheering crowd.

#GOTR operates after school for 10 weeks, culminating in the race. Volunteers teach the lessons and help the girls train for the run.

Are you a runner?

• Maybe you can become a role model for girls in a local school as a coach.

• Perhaps you could volunteer to be a running buddy for a girl who doesn’t have someone to run with her.

• Or become a SoleMate and raise money for #GOTR as you challenge yourself to run your own race, whether a marathon, half-marathon, or 10K.

Of course, like any nonprofit, Girls on the Run can always use monetary donations that allow them to provide their programs around the country.

Izzy and Lisa, our successful runners, celebrate with Corban

Own or manage a business? #GOTR in every community needs local partners who invest in the program and help them pull off the 5K without a hitch. Could you be one of those partners?

Feel free to come check out the Lancaster race on Saturday. Corban and I will be sitting on a curb (actually three or four curbs as we jump from spot to spot to catch a view of our intrepid runners). We will see you there!

Corban and my race selfie!

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