"Her smile extended from ear to ear. At that moment I knew it was okay to pass. As I did I started crying… finishing the whole 5k with tears in my eyes." -- Coach Amber
Become a mentor!
You don't have to be a runner to be a coach, just have an appreciation for what physical activity brings to your wellbeing and a desire to empower young women. We need small teams of coaches at each of our site locations who can commit to mentoring two days a week for the ten week fall or spring season. We have new coach trainings scheduled for March and September prior to the season start. If you'd like to inquire about becoming a coach, please contact Mary at 788-7863, or via our contact us form. If you are ready to join us, please complete our coach application & registration.
Got questions? Check out our Coaching FAQ.
This is what our past coaches have to say:
Coach Emily Knowles
"Coaching for Girls on the Run was a joy! The girls were so full of energy and spunk - and I looked forward to seeing them each week.
I was impressed by the lessons and organization of GOTR. It was easy and fun to follow, and I felt prepared to share with the girls.
Every week I was amazed at what they were capable of - it was neat to see how they solved problems, worked together and encouraged each other.
Giving these girls the gift of my time actually blessed me more than I imagined it would. They really have big dreams, think big and are able to make a big impact.
To teach and encourage them to run and be healthy in all areas of their lives builds a good foundation. What a gift to give a young growing girl!
Coach Kendall Friedman
"Being a Girls on the Run was a great experience of personal growth….I felt honored to be part of an important time in these girls' lives as they learn and grow as strong young women. It felt like a really special opportunity to give someone the tools that I wish I had as an awkward pre-teen to build confidence and learn about the value of my qualities that made me unique instead of working so hard to fit in with the crowd. It was a huge bonus to feel like I had a positive impact on these fun-loving young ladies, or at least provided them with a few hours a week of time that they could feel like they can be their true selves."
Coach Jodie Taylor
"I first decided to coach GOTR at Hailey Elementary, because my own kids are older, WRMS and WRHS, and I really missed the enthusiasm and energy of the Elementary student. I also loved the idea of empowering young girls and teaching them they have a voice. I've always enjoyed backcountry running and the idea of sparking an interest in a young girl excited me. But, GOTR is so much more! The lessons learned are "life" lessons the girls will use their whole lives. The girls are instant new friends and they cannot wait to raise their hands and participate. They encourage each other and a camaraderie is formed. Accomplishment is written all over their faces after their workout. Their enthusiasm is infectious and after every meeting I also felt empowered and re-energized. Coaching is a great way to give back to the community but this program will give you way more in return."
Coach: Lindsay Zondag
"My favorite day was the practice 5k. There were two little girls who were really dragging behind everyone and just did not want to participate. I prodded them along and as we turned the corner to the finish line, we saw the other girls had formed an arch with their hands. As we walked a little closed, we could hear the team chanting our names. Their eyes widened and they asked me "is that for US!?" Those two sprinted the rest of the way and ran under their teammates' hands to the finish line. That was a great demonstration of teamwork and friendship, things we strive to teach our Girls on the Run."
Coach Amber Larna
"There was a girl that struggled with the running part and yet she worked sooo hard. Every session she was the one struggling. During the 5k she still struggled. As I approached her in the race, I patted her on the back, ran with her for a bit, and encouraged her. She told me how excited she was. Her smile extended from ear to ear. At that moment I knew it was okay to pass. As I did I started crying… finishing the whole 5k with tears in my eyes. It is so hard for me to put into words the feelings I went through that day, but being a GOTR coach is probably one of the MOST rewarding things I have done. It is an amazing program, the things it does not only for the young girls but for their coaches."
Coach Lea Flocchinni
"When I signed up as a coach I did so with reservation. I'm not a runner nor a racer, but I wanted to encourage girls to became empowered. It was an honor to inspire them to move out of their personal boxes and push themselves to their own excellence; to encourage them to run or even walk a bit farther than they thought they could; to listen to them share their wisdom and watch them support each other; and, to be there holding their hands as we crossed the finish line of their 5k race.
"The 'you can do it' spirit of Girls on the Run and it's motto of just keep moving forward seeped into my bones and inspired me to participate in a 1/2 marathon (way out of my personal box) with my own daughter. My experience as a coach was a life-changing gift for me and a reminder that one person can and indeed does make a difference."
Coach Kathy Oliver
"Although I am a woman, now unbelievably to me—approaching 60(!) I am a busy, active teacher who, after attending a talk by Kristin Armstrong in our area felt the “call” to serve the very needy (but so wonderful) students at our school. Recently I have had to face some unexpected losses in my life and being able to fill my cup by GIVING in this very small way these past two weeks in GOTR has brought me incredible JOY, almost beyond words.
All my life I have struggled with my weight and still do, so this is a huge stretch for me to put on the clothes, the shoes and get out there with the girls. Just writing you and admitting it, putting it “out there” touches such a nerve (probably part of never quite feeling like I measured up—always needing to lose weight—still—again!!!) The Girl Box closes in around so tightly that somehow it was suffocating and I wondered if I had done the right thing. The power of the Girl Box to consume us at any age must be squelched!
Thank you for giving me a little hope and for the wonderful support of Mary, the other much younger coaches and the darling little girls who screamed with joy “Mrs. Oliver, you’re going to be a coach!!!” They were excited. And one girl, who HATES to run, but loves the girls that run, said…”I’ll walk with you if you can’t run any more Mrs. Oliver, it’s OK if you can’t do it.” It felt good to be accepted and loved—-talk about encouragement!"
Coach Alex Taylor
"Being a coach for Girls on the Run was so much more than I ever thought it would be. My first thought was that I would be able to assist the girls in increasing/maintaining a good physical regimen that would make them feel good or better about themselves, feel a part of a committed group and have fun all at the same time. For myself, I thought GOTR was an opportunity to give some of my time back to the youth in our community, learn about what girls that age are up to and maybe get in better physical shape.
What it really was….
The running part turned out to not be the most highlighted part of the program. How fortunate for all of the girls in GOTR (the coaches, too!) to each week have a lesson on life skills. Whether it be on expressing emotions in a healthy way, speaking your truth, team work, etc. the GOTR program provided an exceptional learning environment for these girls to acquire the tools for coping with life when life may not seem so easy and smooth. As a coach, what great reminders these lessons provided for me in my dealings with children, teens and adults. If every girl (and boy, too!), no matter what age, had the opportunity to be involved in the GOTR curriculum, what a better place out community, our country, our world would be!
It was an honor to have the time to make a difference in the lives of these girls and in return have them make a difference in my life. A few kind words spoken here and there or in passing on the track could change one’s whole perspective on a situation in one’s life. At the end of the session I could see positive shifts in the girls and in their support of one another. On the day of the final 5K, I was brought to tears of joy and gratitude several times in witnessing the excitement of the girls as they picked up their packets, prepared for the run and completed it. The family support and photo opps at the end of the run were precious. Through sleet and rain and hail and snow, all the girls passed the finish line beaming. There is no question that GOTR made a difference in their lives as well as mine. They were committed and in turn I was committed as well.
I felt there was a lot of unconditional love and support in our GOTR group and a collective feeling of all being one with each other. What a gift to share with the girls and in my daily life as well. It was so much more than running! Each session I would approach being as open as I could be and trusting the whole process of a GOTR session. That, too was a gift to take back into my life….trusting the process and allowing for the gifts to come to the surface in any way they want to appear. For me GOTR was an opportunity to show up with an open mind and trust the process and always, always leave with more love and laughter in my heart. No matter what the age is, we all have so much to learn from one another! Thank you."