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Why You Should Participate in the GOTR 5K this Sunday, Nov. 15

November 13, 2009

It’s going to be cold. It won’t be too terribly early (race starts at 9 a.m.), but still, it’s a Sunday, and many people either enjoy lazy Sundays or have church obligations. Essentially there are many excuses you could make for skipping the New Balance GOTR 5K this Sunday, Nov. 15. Here are the top THREE reasons why you should ignore any excuses and attend the race:

1. You can’t truly understand Girls on the Run until you attend a GOTR 5K.

This goes for if you’re a parent, coach, board member, donor, or just someone who’s heard good things about the program and would like to learn more. I speak from personal experience as a coach. During my first coaching season, I struggled to motivate many of the girls to want to run. Many of them were more interested in chatting with their friends, and some were easily discouraged by their seemingly slow progress. When race day arrived, I was nervous about how they would do. My first surprise was how excited they were when they arrived. I spent the entire 30 minutes before the race applying temporary GOTR tattoos and running with the girls around a parking lot so they could warm up. During the race, I chose to stay back and run with some of the slower girls in our group. And I was utterly blown away by them! The same girls who asked for breaks after every lap during the season were pacing themselves along the course, encouraging their friends to keep moving, and, when they did have to walk, timing themselves so that they didn’t walk for too long before running again. It turned out that the lessons I taught throughout the season had in fact stuck with them – it just took the energy and adrenaline of race day to bring it out of them. At the end of the race, every single one of my girls had completed it to their utter satisfaction. Their beautiful faces were glowing in the cold sunshine as we led them in cooldown stretches. As they walked away with their parents afterward, I heard them talking excitedly about how they would train harder next season to do even better.

This was just my individual experience with a group of 15 girls who I coached. Multiply that number by 40 (the approximate number of GOTR Atlanta sites) and you’ll begin to understand how powerful this race is for girls in Atlanta. Take it a step further – multiply that number by 160 (the approximate number of GOTR councils across the country and in Canada) and the impact becomes almost overwhelming.

2. No matter how you participate, you’ll make a difference in the life of a girl. 

Registration for the GOTR 5K costs $25. Proceeds of the race go toward GOTR Atlanta and the Atlanta Youth Soccer Association (AYSA). It costs GOTR approximately $200 to support a girl on a full scholarship through one season of the program (including her t=shirt, water bottle, curriculum, journal, race registration, etc.). So by simply signing up as an individual to participate in the race, you are making a small contribution toward providing the program to a girl who otherwise would not have access to it. If you invite friends and family along, you’re only adding to that contribution! And for those who choose to volunteer for the race rather than run, remember that the race couldn’t happen at all without your help.

3. Molly Barker will be there!

 Most of you know of Molly, the founder of GOTR International. But, take it from me, if you get the chance to meet her and hear her speak, you must take it! Molly will be attending and speaking at the Atlanta GOTR 5K this Sunday.

If you haven’t already, check out Molly’s blogs, Molly on the Run and Molly on the Run: Girls Edition.

Please share your thoughts and comments about the 5K with me! Send your comments to I’ll plan to post some comments on the blog next week. Have a great race!!

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 13, 2009 5:57 am

    And take a look: the GOTR 5K made it into the AJC’s “Stuff to Do in Atlanta this Weekend” blog – if that’s not a selling point I don’t know what is!!!

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