RR: Girls on the Run 5K

This morning was the culmination of my third season coaching Girls on the Run. For the first time I’ve ever coached we had incredible weather- cool, blue skies and bright sunshine. I walked up to my team to have one of my girls, Molly, run up to me and yell “You’re here!!!” At our banquet on Wednesday, Molly asked if I would run the race with her, and as our little all-star, I told her I’d run with her for as long as I could keep up. I was serious- Molly is fast! It was nice to have Molly excited to see me and still want to run with me. I chatted with the girls and the parents as a performer on stage warmed everyone up.

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Some of my girls at the start

We made our way to the start and with the support of some parents and after a quick countdown we were running. The first mile was more obstacle course than road race. Lots of crowding and excited kids and walkers and chaos. Molly was bopping along and I was so proud of her. We chatted and I did my usual thing where I cheer for spectators. The out and back double loop course provided lots of opportunities not only for parents to see their kids but also for me to cheer for other runners as a coach. Occasionally Molly would stop to walk and I’d tell her stories and try to encourage her. She was honestly being so amazing! At one point she asked how I had the energy to do so much cheering With about a half mile left in the race, Molly began to talk to me in the kind of way that only happens when people are running. She told me I was her favorite coach and how she talked about me all the time. She said so many sweet things I actually began to tear up. Coaching is hard. It’s a lot of time and energy but running with this amazingly beautiful, bright, kind, athletic young woman on a Sunday morning made me realize just how worth it it all is. Molly and I finished in 33 minutes- she’s 10! I also ran a 5K today. A month ago I couldn’t run and today I ran such an important race. When we finished, Molly proclaimed, “You kept up!” and she has no idea how much it means that I did.

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Me and my race buddy at the finish

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