Monday, May 21, 2012

Girls on the Run Spring 5K - AKA Best Saturday Ever!

WOW, what a whirlwind Saturday was.  I'm not even sure I can do this post justice since I can barely remember what happened between the hours of 5AM and 1PM but I'll do my best.  The spring Girls on the run 5K was at Seward Park in Seattle.  This 5K is the culmination of a 10 week after school program for elementary school girls.  If you have never heard of GOTR go check it out right now!

After getting somewhat involved in the organization by being a running buddy for one 5K and then volunteering to help with course setup last December I knew I wanted to take on a larger role with this amazing non profit. I got the chance this year after being asked to be the course lead on the 5K committee.   And just an FYI, GOTR Puget Sound literally has only THREE paid employees, ALL the rest are volunteers.  ALL the coaches, running buddies, 5K committee, auction committee, etc are awesome!
The rockstar 5K committee with superstar GOTR staff member Becky!
The day started with a 5AM alarm clock wakeup and I was on my way to Seward Park.  We got straight to work unloading a u-haul packed with tables, tents, a stage, cones, and much much more.  How they managed to pack an entire 5K into a small u-haul is still a huge mystery to me but it all fit!
Park before the festival was set up!

The festival in action!
My awesome friend Lindsey showed up right at 6 to run the 5K loop and mark the miles for me which was a serious weight off my back and prevented me from taking the time to do it the night before...thanks EY!!

She took her job very seriously and wrote the LARGEST mile numbers in chalk on the course!
A couple other volunteers arrived by 6:30 and we were off and setting up.  The finish line chute was constructed and I left EY and another good friend, Carol, to the decorating. They did an awesome job!

The course was all setup before 8:00 which gave me time to actually have a bite to eat and some coffee before my cheerleading volunteers arrived.  I got the chance to meet Becky from RunFunDone who is also my fellow Nuun Ragner runner.  And we later found out Dawn from Running at Dawn was a coach and we didn't even know it until after the race :(.  Becky took about a million amazing photos. She captured what this race is all about perfectly and recapped it beautifully on her own blog...CHECK IT OUT.

And because I didn't already need another reason to be convinced Nuun was AWESOME they came out to support GOTR too!

pic from RunFunDone
As soon as 9:00 rolled around some of my cheerleaders started showing up so I gave instructions, handed out maps, thanked them over and over again and got them out on the course to do their thang.  An actual cheerleading team showed up as well and I split them up to cheer on the girls where there wouldn't be other cheerleaders.

Next up, the balloon arch...the ONLY thing that almost went terribly wrong that day.  It wasn't constructed properly so the second we tried to move it, it started coming apart.  We raced to get it back together, added more balloons and drove it (VERY SLOWLY) to the start we just have to get it back to the finish...
How gorgeous is this start line!?
Before you know it, its 10AM and the race STARTS!  Of course the second we tried to move the balloon arch it started coming apart again but we made it back to the finish and were literally holding it up with our arms as the first runners finished.  After a quick round of duck tape it was in place for the rest of the runners.  We cursed the balloon arch many times that morning but the girls really loved running through it #totallyworthit.

Becky took some seriously awesome photos and I get teary eyed just looking through all of them.  These are just a few of my favorites from the post proud do these girls look!??

I had some time to actually breathe after the race was underway and once I got the ok that all runners were past a certain point in the course we went back out to clean it all up.  Cleaning up took no time and popping all the balloons in the arch was definitely very therapeutic after battling with it all morning.

It truly was an awesome and inspirational day!  Seeing all the girls completed their goal and the 100's of volunteers helping is what makes Girls on the Run such an amazing organization.  As we sat around eating pizza before loading up the u-haul we discussed the fall 5K and everyone on the committee agreed...we all can't wait to do all over again :).

I know a lot of you expressed interest in getting involved for the next 5K, so mark your calendars...the fall 5K is usually the first Saturday in December.  But before then there is going to be a couple of other opportunities to help this awesome organization:

1. Come to Fleet Feet this Thursday from 7:00-8:30 for a special ladies night benefiting Girls on the Run Puget Sound.  I'll be there and would love to meet anyone who comes.

2. There is a 10K race that will help benefit GOTR in August.  I will get the details soon, but I think it would be a fun blogger meetup!

QUESTION: Who raced this past weekend?  How did you do?

1 comment:

Xaarlin said...

You had an amazing weekend! GOTR looks like a great organization which I wish I was a part of 20 years ago. Those girls looked so happy out there. :)