Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Race Recap: Girls on the Run Celebration 5k

This past Saturday was the culmination of Grace's Girls on the Run (GOTR) experience.  GOTR does it right with a "Celebration 5k".  It's not really a race since it's not timed. And there are SO MANY girls that they are released in heats. So the competition piece is missing. GOTR is much more about self esteem and teamwork and that is reflected in everything they do.

The girls could select a "running buddy" to run the race with them if they wanted. Grace asked me and I was - of course - honored and excited!

Here we are the morning of the race before heading out. 
Notice our matching running skirts (a first for me, but fun!)  :)

Pre-race with the school flag on the football field. (Yep, very very sunny!) As you can see, we were one of the first teams on the field.  Before we knew it, the field looked more like this:

See Grace and I down front? And see the approximately SEVENTEEN HUNDRED girls behind us?  
Um, yeah, that was just for our county. Intense.

Here we are approaching the start line.  
Mark was able to capture these photos.  He brought the kids and 3 grandmas (!) to watch the start, but they headed out to various soccer games, so it was Grace and I for the rest of the race.

I actually took my camera on the run, but was too lazy to upload/organize the photos.  I have been officially spoiled by my camera phone. : / 

How did the race go? Well, it was HOT.  Like 80s hot.  And most of the girls were tired before it started. You see, they had to arrive at the field BEFORE 8:00 a.m.  And then they hung out with their team all bursting with excitement. And then the party started. Music blaring, girls dancing. Opening ceremonies began around 9:20 ish? Lots of talking while we baked in the sun.  Then organized stretching that went on f.o.r.e.v.e.r.  A good warm up, but it was a lot, especially considering the conditions.  The first heat of runners didn't take off until about 9:45.  

Grace did excellent. I think she walked a bit more than she wanted to (I just followed her lead) but it was very hot and she was baking in her cotton t-shirt. :(  However, she did tell me that I made encouraged her to run more than she probably would have alone. I think that was a good thing.  As we neared the stadium for the finish, she wanted to finish strong and ran the last 1/2 mile (+) at a good pace! We sped around quite a few people for a strong finish.  I of course embarrassed her, but she didn't seem to mind too much. :)

Proud girlie post-race

Nice bling!

All in all, this was a great experience for me and (I think) for Grace as well. She admits she doesn't "love" running, but she really enjoyed her experience overall and loved the GOTR lessons and teamwork activities.  I'm so thankful she had this opportunity. I had a blast on Saturday and hope she does it again next year. It makes me wonder if I had participated in a program like that when I was a kid, would I have started running sooner? 

For those of you who have a GOTR chapter in your area, consider volunteering as a "running buddy" for the Celebration event.  A lot of girls did not have anyone to run with (there were about 600 "buddies" and 1700 girls) and you could tell that most of the ones that did really liked having the company. For me, it was an incredible event to be a part of and I really enjoyed the energy.

1 comment:

  1. How adorable!!! what an amazing experience to share with your daughter!!! that face on her shows it all!!