As a national sponsor of the Girls on the Run SoleMates charity running program, Garmin is partnering with this great organization to further their mission and share the stories of the women and men who are “running for a reason.” Runners can sign up for any event — runs, walks, bike rides or triathlons — and raise funds that will support their chosen council of Girls on the Run. Want your next race to help change lives? Find out more here.
Today’s story comes from Kristine, who transformed her former view of self (“I’m not a runner”) into a running streak. On Sunday, Kristine will be running her fifth Chicago Marathon in support of Girls on the Run.
“Forward is a pace” is my mantra in running and in life. As long as I am moving forward, I am moving and that is all that counts. I was never an athlete. I was always the ‘big girl’ who was teased. I was always self-conscious. I would never have described myself as a runner. When I turned 40, a friend dared me to run a 5k. Who knew one race would change the course of my life? The race was the Girls on the Run 5k and I was hooked…not only on running but also on the program. I began coaching and my life changed. I knew I had to find a way to get more girls involved and decided to become a Girls on the Run SoleMates fundraiser. This year I will run the Chicago Marathon for the 5th time as a SoleMate.
My goal is to give back to my girls what they give me and to allow every girl, no matter her financial status, to be able to reap the benefits of this life-changing program. Being a SoleMate has allowed me to learn and to grow just as the girls in program learn and grow. Being a SoleMate allows me to set an example for my own children, my Girls on the Run team and the children I teach. I hope that through my example, they learn goal setting, balance, perseverance and healthy living.
Participating in a race as a SoleMate means I have the honor and privilege of spreading Tutu Spirit along with spreading the message of Girls on the Run. What is Tutu Spirit? Tutu Spirit is the embodiment of the spirit of every girl on the run…past, present and future. It is all of their positive energy, joy, silliness, struggles, faith, confidence, fortitude, power, strength, and all the other wonderful, unique qualities that make up each girl. Being a SoleMate has made me a better person, a better mom, a better wife, a better teacher, and a much better coach.
Being a SoleMate and sharing Tutu Spirit has changed my life forever for the better! I may not have a visible tutu every day, but the spirit is there. Tutu spirit lives in my heart to be shared every day. Forward is a pace!