Our team of volunteers represents a dynamic group of individuals, including teachers, athletes, businesswomen, and parents, all of whom possess a great enthusiasm for helping to prepare girls for a healthy and happy adolescence and adulthood. Girls on the Run of the Wood River Valley serves approximately 160 girls in the Blaine County School district, provides events such as our Girls on the Run 5k and Healthy Living Expo and Lunafest Film Festival, and is assists in other area events that encourages healthy living.
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 February and August prior to the season start. Visit our coach information page to read testimonies from past coaches, get your questions answered and to apply to be a mentor. If you'd like to inquire about becoming a coach, please contact Mary at 788-7863, or via our contact us form.
Our SoleMates program is a rewarding way to use your own training & racing goals to make a difference in girls lives. Athletes race in 5k, half marathon, full marathon, triathlons and more on behalf of Girls on the Run asking their friends and family to help support them in a cause that they care about.
We're always looking for help at ourJune Color Me Fearless 5k, November Lunafest film night, holiday gift wrapping, Suns Hockey benefit night, or other community involvement such as at the Boulder Mountain Tour or Backcountry Run. Contact us if you'd be able to help, be a running buddy, or lend a talent that would enhance the program or event.
Our board of directors are a diverse group of adults and youth that work year around to make sure the Girls on the Run organization meets it's strategic goals that include: building a development strategy that supports long-term financial stability and growth, advancing operational excellence, maintaining and growing program participation, advancing board of directors operational excellence, creating inspired volunteers, and continuing a strong community presence. Board applications for adults to serve up to three 2-year terms can be accepted at any time. Spots will be open on a as needed basis. Youth board positions become available once a year in May, and youth going into grades 9-11 can apply for a one 1-year term by the deadline of April 15th.
Would you like to focus your efforts toward a particular event or crucial program element? Do you have experience in a field that would be of use to us? We have the following committees and would welcome involvement from those interested in these areas: Color Me Fearless 5k, Lunafest, Fundraising, Board Development, Program Development, and Solemates. Please contact us via our contact us form to let us know your area of interest.
We're looking for items that can be included in our Lunafest Silent Auction. Sponsorship exposure for your business or organization can be included. Contact us for more information.
You have a tremendous opportunity to help girls understand the true inner power they possess; to serve as the critical ‘fuel’ that propels them forward in life. As a volunteer coach for Girls on the Run, you can unleash the strength, bravery, and limitless potential of girls right here in Blaine County.
Girls on the Run coaches are as unique as the girls they serve. Just like the girls, many are not runners. They are people just like YOU who take great pride and care in role modeling character, connectedness, and inner strength.
Girls on the Run coaches are truly a reflection of the girls we serve here in the Wood River Valley. By being themselves, they prove that one person can really make a difference. And they have a lot of fun too!
There are over 70 girls waiting to participate in Girls on the Run here in Blaine County this upcoming fall or spring season. They need you! We need you! 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. The Fall 2018 season will run from September 10 - November 10 and sites include:
- Hemingway Elementary, M/W, 2:45-4:00
- Hailey Elementary, T/Th, 2:45-4:00
- Alturas Elementary, T/Th, 2:30:3:45
- Bellevue Elementary, M/W, 2:45-4:00
- Wood River Middle School, M/W, 3:30-5:00
We have new coach trainings scheduled for March and September prior to the season start. The Fall training will take place Wednesday August 15th, 4-8 p.m. or Wednesday August 22nd, 4-8 p.m. If you can not absolutely make this time, please still contact us for alternative training opportunities.
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.
Coach & GOTRWRV Founder Shari Kunz
I have had many highlights in my life, but coaching Girls on the Run will always be one of my favorites. Looking into the eyes of girls with their whole lives ahead of them, and knowing you get to be a part of the wonder of their being, is something that forever stays with you. The beauty of being a part of this program is that in wanting to give and share with these girls, you come away with the girls having given and shared with you. And what you have given to one another lasts a lifetime. Come discover your own potential while helping girls discover their own...what are you waiting for?
“Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living — if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.” — Denzel Washington
Coach Angi Hunter
I was inspired to become a GOTR coach because I've always enjoyed running for the physical and mental benefits. I started a running club with my boys in TX so when we moved to Hailey last year, I was looking for a way to get involved with introducing kids to Running. I found GOTR to be a great place to do this here in the valley.
I love sharing the curriculum with the girls. The content is spot on for introducing important topics that many already had experience with. And when they didn't, it allowed them to experience through others and lay a foundation for when those topics do present in their individual lives. I also just love being another positive force for them to count on. To believe in them when they don't believe themselves.
Our group was a smaller group so I was fortunate to have a lot of interaction with each of the girls each time we met. I think seeing each of their unique abilities shine during the course of the program was my favorite. You really got a sense of who they were as an individual and what strengths they brought to the group and to themselves.
Coach Lindsey Larrivee
As a GOTR coach I received the gift of insight into the girls' ideas, insecurities, aspirations, and genaeral wellness. Without genuine interaction like we have in Girls on the Run, we don’t get a real idea of what's going on in their worlds. They are each and every one fascinating and worth getting to know!
During my coaching experience I was surprised by how perceptive the girls are. At 9! When analyzing media, the girls very articulately described the true drivers that ads are designed around, such as the girls' wishes to 'fit in', 'be pretty', or 'have a perfect life'. They apply this same perception to everyone and everything they encounter, which made me behave more 'real' with them, because they would have seen right through anything else.
There are so many moments from coaching that I love to reflect on. My favorite however was hearing my daughter Simone's essay about how GOTR inspired her to follow her dreams and when it was as the winner in a contest. Witnessing her take ownership of herself and her dreams is empowering, as her mother it was a special moment I will always treasure.
Coach Hannah Bauthues
"During the fall I take some time off to get out of town for a bit. This year I decided to make a ten week commitment to staying in Ketchum to help coach for Girls on the Run at Hemingway Elementary. Girls on the Run is an after school program that helps girls gain confidence and learn life skills while working towards completing a 5k at the end of their season along with finishing a community impact project. All I can say is that it was a ten weeks well spent, especially in a time where we truly need to come together and empower and love others.❤️💛💚💙💜 I am so proud of my girls who made it out today and to the others that were there on and off for the last ten weeks. You truly can do anything you put your mind to. Let your STAR POWER shine through! 💫🌟"
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 Runwas 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."
A: Coaches do not create lessons. Coaches facilitate an easy-to-follow, well-researched, copyrighted curriculum that is used by all Girls on the Run councils throughout the United States and Canada.
A: No, coaches do not have to be runners. Any woman or man who lives a healthy lifestyle and is committed to improving the lives of girls can serve as a coach.
A: No, coaches do not have to be runners. Any woman or man who lives a healthy lifestyle and is committed to improving the lives of girls can serve as a coach.
A: There are 8-20 girls and 2-3 coaches in each group.
A: Each group meets twice a week for 75 minutes after school during the 10 week program season. The days they meet vary from group to group. Each group generally meets between the 2:45 pm – 4:00 pm time frame. For a list of program locations with the days and times they meet click here.
A: Our program takes places at all of the elementary schools in the Wood River Valley, and with middle school specific Heart & Sole program at Wood River Middle School.
A: Starts: Either Monday September 10 or Tuesday September 11, depending on the days a program meets.
Ends: The final 5k event on November 10th at Swiftsure Ranch. Coaches attend the event from approximately 11:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m. The actual 5K starts at 12:00 p.m. Sites will meet one last time the week following the 5k on November 12th or 13th.
A: To become a coach, please fill out this online coach application and background check. New coaches are required to attend a four-hour training to be held on Thursday, August 9th, 4-8 p.m. or Saturday, August 25th 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
A: Please still do contact us as we can at times do an alternative training and get you up to speed, or we may have another role for you to participate!
A: During the program season, coaches should expect to volunteer an average of 3-4 hours per week. This includes: 2.5 hours of practice, time on-site before and after practice, curriculum preparation, snack purchasing/preparation, as well as communication with coach team, girls’ families, and GOTR staff. Coaches are also required to meet twice a season at the all coach meeting, the first scheduled for Thursday, September 6 from 5:30-7:00. We will also hold one late season meeting to cover 5k and end of the season details on Thursday, October 18th.
A: The Head Coach role is a great place for returning coaches to serve, or new coaches that feel confident to jump in leading a group of youth in a positive and enthusiastic manner. Head Coaches would be responsible to lead the lessons the majority of the time so that the girls in the program can get used to one coaching style and know better what to expect. Assistant Coaches have many roles where they assist and will lead lessons as necessary. If a site consists of all new coaches, and no one new coach feels ready to be Head Coach, we often conduct these sites as a team effort where coaches can rotate the responsibility of leading the lessons.
A: Since the coaches already work as a team at the sites, normally covering for a missed day or two (and sometimes more) is normally easy to work out with your co-coaches and with substitute coaches available.
A: A lot of material will be covered at the new coach training regarding curriculum and how it's implemented. But if in the meantime you have further questions about the program, we suggest reading the Our Program section on our website. Also, you may want to read more about the program on the website for Girls on the Run International. If you would like to speak to someone about the program, please feel free to contact Mary with the info above.
SoleMate Charity Racing
SoleMate Charity Racing
We are a team of male and female athletes who pursue individual goals, such as running a marathon, completing a triathlon or cycling event, or even doing our first 5k or 10k, to raise money for Girls on the Run of the Wood River Valley.
Individuals can sign up to run/walk/bike in any event of their choice and participate in Girls on the Run SoleMates. Registration is FREE and there is no fundraising minimums!!
Use the power of your racing to make a difference in the life of a girl. Join Girls on the Run SoleMates
Currently, more than 50% of the girls in our program need full or partial financial assistance. Funds raised by SoleMates allow these girls scholarship and subsidy support to participate in our life-changing program, empowering them to be confident, healthy and joyful. Your support will help Girls on the Run Wood River Valley maintain our commitment to serve all girls, regardless of financial need. And what a way to make your own personal efforts that much more meaningful.
If you are ready to become a SoleMate REGISTER NOW!
Registration includes easy to use online fundraising tools and an exclusive SoleMates technical t-shirt.
Incentive prices for reaching certain fundraising levels include:
$250 -- Girls on the stainless steel water bottle!
$500 -- Women's "Girls Rule the World" tank top, and previous item
$1000 -- Learn Dream Live Run sweatshirt and previous items
A team of 6 SoleMates ran in the 2015 Sawtooth Relay for the first time.. boy what fun we had being close to home running in the beautiful valleys we travel often! We will plan to have a team in the 2018 race, and will require course volunteer help as well. If you're interested in either opportunity to help contribute to the program, please contact us. Here's a video the captured the spirit of being a SoleMate, and the beauty that we get to call home!
New in 2015, Girls on the Run had a SoleMate team in the local Sawtooth Relay race. This 6- person team will travel the 60 miles Stanley, along the beautiful Salmon River with the Sawtooth & White Cloud mountains on either side, up and over Galena pass, and down to Ketchum for an in town finish celebration. The race takes place in early June. If you're interested in joining the team as SoleMate (your entry fee will be covered!), please contact us!
For the first time in the Summer of 2012 a team of 12 Wood River Valley women traveled to Aston, Idaho on the edge of the Teton mountains to run a combined length of 180 miles over two passes and beautiful mountain scenery which make up the course of the Grand Teton Relay. While SoleMates are often pursuing their own individual race goals, this team of women chose to travel together to race together, while doing it for something that is meaningful to them such as the Girls on the Run program. They happily agree to stink up their vans together, sleep in awkward places, and run in the middle of the night all for a great cause! Girls on the Run has been supported by this team effort each summer since. We are sadden that the race ended in 2017... we're in the process of considering a new race. Send us your suggestions.