A Tale of 2 Races

Long time, no blog.

It’s been a whirlwind since my last post a few months ago. I finished my first marathon (I’ll have to post about that later) did a few 5Ks and another half (I’ll have to post about that later too). I’ve been trying to finish up college (I graduate next weekend!) and figure out my plans for after (landed a full-time marketing job that I LOVE). Oh yeah, and I’m married and have a dog baby so that’s in the mix too. So in all the chaos, this blog has been the furthermost back burner in my life.

But yesterday I decided it was time to dust this baby off. Because I had a revelation.

Backstory: a few weeks ago. I was scrolling through Facebook and saw that Freedom 4/24 was having a Run 4 Their Lives event in Lynchburg. I had really been wanting to do one with my best friend Danae, but every time there’s been one in the last year one of us had plans. We decided to sign up, but I realized I had already registered for the Girls on the Run Celebration 5K the same day. Luckily the start times were an hour and a half apart, so I decided to just do them both.

Run 4 Their Lives

Run 4 Their Lives is a Freedom 4/24 event that raises awareness ad funds to bring sexually exploited women and children into freedom. Yesterday we were running for 2 particular girls who had survived and been living in a house funded by Freedom 4/24. We got their names written on our arms to remember who we were running for when things got tough.



The race itself wasn’t anything super special, but I got to run it with my best friend and that made it extra special. It’s slightly sad that in the two years I’ve been running we’ve only gotten to do two races together and those two races have been the last two weekends (Hmm… that’s another race I should post about later…)
The race was really hilly (okay superΒ hilly) but we finished in a really decent time considering. Sadly we couldn’t hang around very long because I had to rush to make it to Girls on the Run.
Girls on the Run Celebration 5K
I frantically made the 30 minute drive to Sweet Briar College, and managed to pick up my packet with 10 minutes to spare. I took those 10 minutes to people watch and was completely inspired by what I saw. I was surrounded by hundreds of elementary and middle aged girls (and their parents) who were so excited to be there to run, for many of them, their first 5K. The atmosphere was electric.
The girls had all been learning valuable lessons through their running training; how being different is okay, how they need to build each other up instead of tearing each other down, how all women are strong and beautiful. All of these are things that girls need to hear at that age group.
I was one of the few people there who didn’t belong to one of the GOTR girls, but no one seemed to mind. The feeling of girl power was all that mattered. Once the race started everyone was just encouraging the little ones to keep going, and that they could do it. There were motivational signs and people all along the course.
The girls’ coaches were running with them and even though some of the girls were uncomfortable, I knew everyone was having a blast. Somewhere around the halfway point it was laid on my heart that I wanted to be a bigger part of GOTR than just running the 5K. I knew about both the SoleMate and coaching programs before the start of the race and both were something I’ve been thinking a lot about for the last 24 hours. I’m not entirely sure which path I will choose, but running the Marine Corps Marathon in October as a SoleMate somehow seems perfect.
I finished the race, met by a bunch of encouraging people I’ve never met cheering for me, and knew I had made the right decision to squeeze in both races yesterday. I was meant to be there, feel the energy of girls being passionate about something, and to just be inspired by it all.
Whatever happens in my GOTR future, I’m sure it will be amazing.
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One thought on “A Tale of 2 Races

  1. Wow, you have had a lot going on! Congrats on the wedding and dog baby as well as the first marathon and upcoming graduation πŸ™‚ And you're doing the Marine Corps Marathon as well? Mike and I will probably be out cheering for that one. I had never heard of the solemate program before so I'm going to check that out. GOTR is such a great organization.

    Like

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