It may have been chilly outside, but we ROCKED the New Balance Girls on the Run 5K.  All of the girls had an absolute blast.  A culmination of a season of fun and laughter, self-confidence boosting lessons, and a little bit of running, too.


I’m not sure what the BEST part of the morning was – because there were so many great moments – but these three stand out:


1) Our troop got called up on stage to give the crowd an ENERGY AWARD!


2) After the race, GOTR founder Molly Barker came over and talked to our girls.  They were absolutely star struck.  If you are an 8 year old going through the GOTR program, you know who Molly is, and the fact that Molly makes an appearance at our 5K is a very, very big deal (GOTR headquarters is in Charlotte).  And honestly, I consider Molly a celebrity, too!  To think that she had one great idea – to create a running program for elementary school girls – and managed to make it into something THIS HUGE is stunning.  Over 250,000 girls have gone through the GOTR program all over the country since Molly started off with less than a dozen girls at a local Charlotte school in the late 1990s.  Pretty amazing.


3) Although time is not a big deal at GOTR events (the goal is to finish and have fun), one of our girls was the VERY FIRST GIRL out of 3,000 girls to cross the finish line.  She smoked past the tape in 22:50!  That is an average of a 7:20-minute mile.   Hello, speedster!  Her dad said that he could barely keep up with her.  Watch out for her in the Olympics.


All in all, a very, very memorable day, indeed.


The 5K itself was well-organized and fun.  The girls were given beads at Mile 1 and 2, had a water station at Mile 1.5, and the last half mile was all downhill – I think this layout really made the race fly by.


Over 3,000 girls finished and nearly 4,000 family members attended – it was a BIG EVENT!


Every girl runs with a running buddy, and although most girls run with their parents, some girls run with the coaches.  I had to keep my eye on two girls (very nerve-wracking – but I didn’t lose anyone!), and together, we finished in about 39 minutes. 


And now – I’m crashing in bed, with a heart filled with joy.  The girls love GOTR so much, but I love coaching with the Husband even more.  It’s been such a positive and fulfilling experience for us, both as individuals and as a couple.


Here’s to many more seasons of Girls on the Run 5Ks! 


Psst!  Wanna get involved with GOTR?  There are many ways to do so beyond coaching!  Check it out.



  • Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon December 3, 2011, 12:26 pm

    Wow! 22:50! That’s so impressive! She would have smoked half the girls (or more!)on my high school XC team!!

  • Carolyn @ Eat.Live.Be Well December 3, 2011, 12:27 pm

    That is so exciting that a girl in your group was 1st overall. Amazing.

    What a great program.

  • Raewyn December 3, 2011, 12:27 pm

    Wow! Sounds like an amazing day -way to go for your girls! That is awesome that they’re experiencing running as a fun, healthy activity at so young an age. 🙂

  • Sana December 3, 2011, 12:28 pm

    Seeing kids do awesome things just makes my heart warm and fuzzy!

  • Karien December 3, 2011, 12:38 pm

    What a wonderful initiative! Wish we had something like that down here in South Africa!

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing December 3, 2011, 12:40 pm

    Congrats to your girls!!!!! I would love love LOVE to get involved in GOTR in my area!

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) December 3, 2011, 12:57 pm

    Our GOTR 5K was today too, but unfortunately, I had to miss it. 🙁 I was sick in bed all day yesterday and definitely didn’t feel any better when I woke up this morning. I feel so disappointed that I let down my girls, but I know that they did well today.

    P.S- I love the video of the energy award! They are adorable!

  • Jen December 3, 2011, 12:59 pm

    So awesome! Congrats to your girls – I loved their cheer. What a great program to build their confidance and it sounds like it really gets their parents & community involved, too. You & the hubs have every reason to be proud!

  • Lindsay @ Running the Windy City December 3, 2011, 1:02 pm

    That’s awesome- what a great program!

  • Khushboo December 3, 2011, 1:10 pm

    What an awesome day- you have given such a gift to each one of those girls’ character!

  • Candice @ Sailing on Paper December 3, 2011, 1:26 pm

    Wow, congratulations on an amazingly successful event! This must be so special for those girls. I love that family members came, too! Kudos to you for being a role model to these young girls and encouraging them in their fitness goals.

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape December 3, 2011, 1:30 pm

    What a wonderful event!

  • Amber K December 3, 2011, 1:45 pm

    Loved the video! They look like they had a blast. It is such an awesome program, I wish they had it when I was a kid!

  • kathleen @ the daily crumb December 3, 2011, 1:47 pm

    this is amazing! such a fun and inspiring morning post… so proud of all your girls 🙂

  • Emily December 3, 2011, 2:11 pm

    Our GOTR 5K was today in Columbia, SC too! This was my first year coaching so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the race was SO MUCH FUN for the girls! Sadly, our team was down to only 5 members by the end of the season, but they rocked it out! Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your experiences about the program on your blog and inspiring me to get involved!

    • Caitlin December 4, 2011, 10:17 am

      @Emily: I am so glad you got involved with GOTR 🙂 Thank you!

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen December 3, 2011, 2:13 pm

    What an awesome way to end the “season!” That girl is definitely a speedster!

  • Ashley December 3, 2011, 2:24 pm

    Wow! Go tiny racer girl! (That sounds ridiculous, but it is what popped into my head). I’ve loved hearing about GOTR, thank you for sharing, and congrats on a great season!

  • Kim December 3, 2011, 2:42 pm

    Call me a complete sap, but I just got teary reading that GOTR recap. I just love inspirational stories!

  • Kath December 3, 2011, 2:44 pm

    I remember running that 5K with my girls a few years ago 🙂

    Loved your banana cheer!!

  • MaryBe December 3, 2011, 2:50 pm

    The girls all look so excited and happy! This was such a sweet post <3
    You are wonderful for doing this

  • Brooke @ sweats & sweets December 3, 2011, 3:21 pm

    That looks like so much fun! I can’t wait for ours here in Coastal Georgia, its next Saturday and I think I’m more pumped than the girls! But we are all looking forward to it, plus it will be my first GOTR 5K!

  • Kris December 3, 2011, 3:26 pm

    Congrats to you coaches, but espec to the girls on their big success. I think GOTR is such a fab organization. I just wish I was more of a runner and a little younger so I could volunteer. But I know there are other ways to contribute 🙂 Thanks for all you do!!

  • Katherine December 3, 2011, 3:46 pm

    22:50! Are you kidding me?? That is amazing and way faster than I have ever run a 5k in (and I’m not half bad!) Very impressed over here!

    ps- I think she looks like a mini-Kath kind of! haha

  • Kate December 3, 2011, 3:54 pm

    GOTR is such a great organization. There aren’t any teams near me, but I would love to get involved one day if there ever are!

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife December 3, 2011, 3:57 pm

    holy smokes! That is totally awesome!! I bet that was a great experience to do it with the hubs as well. SO cool.

  • Abby @ Abz 'n' Oats December 3, 2011, 3:59 pm

    What a fun day! 🙂 That little lady is speedy! How awesome!

  • steph December 3, 2011, 4:53 pm

    wow that little girl is awesome! she definitely will be something special if she continues to train!

  • Corrie Anne December 3, 2011, 4:54 pm

    Girls on the run seems sooo awesome!! I love those shoelaces! Wow!! What a great time. I get totally starstruck by people like that. I loved the cheer. I might have to teach it in a classroom one of these days.

  • Katie @ Healthy Heddleston December 3, 2011, 5:04 pm

    Very awesome Caitlin! And very cool that one of your girls got 1st — she’ll remember that forever! I’m moving to Maryland this week and there is a GOTR group very close to where I’ll be living — I really want to get involved!!

  • jen December 3, 2011, 6:39 pm

    this is so awesome caitlin. makes my heart happy.

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin December 3, 2011, 7:12 pm

    Congrats to your girl! It sounds like such an exciting day for them. And wow, a 7:20 minute mile? That’s impressive! I’ve never been able to do that in my life!

  • Tricia December 3, 2011, 7:32 pm

    Got the warm and fuzzies. Always feels good when you know your body is healthy and whole! WAY to GO! GOTR Charlotte. Way to go #1! Run, Run, RUN!

  • Moni'sMeals December 3, 2011, 7:35 pm

    so great Caitlin! I think we all agree this was a such a feel good and warm post.

    Go bananas! Go go bananas!!


  • Katie December 3, 2011, 8:15 pm

    This is so amazing and something I really want to get involved in! Congrats to your girls for finishing! 🙂

  • Blair December 3, 2011, 8:22 pm

    That’s sounds so awesome! You may have mentioned this previously, but do their parents sign waivers allowing them to be on your/GOTR’s website?

    • Caitlin December 4, 2011, 10:20 am

      @Blair: Yup, they all sign media releases but I only show them on the 5K post just to keep it to a minimum.

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats December 3, 2011, 8:37 pm

    What I love most about GOTR is the running part is secondary to all the amazing life lessons they learn! I’m glad you all had a successful 5K!

  • Chelsea December 3, 2011, 9:11 pm

    My first race was with girls on the run =D Such an amazing and inspirational experience.

  • CJ @ December 3, 2011, 9:23 pm

    congratulations on another fabulous season of GOTR. what an inspiring program!

  • Jen Adair December 3, 2011, 10:22 pm

    Did you end up telling the girls that you the Husband are expected a little one?

    • Caitlin December 4, 2011, 10:20 am

      @Jen Adair: Yeah! they are all really excited and are keeping their fingers crossed for a girl on the run 🙂

  • Katie December 3, 2011, 10:25 pm

    How fun! What a great program for you to be involved with.

    • Katie December 5, 2011, 1:48 am

      @Katie: Aw, and CUTE video!

  • Elisabeth December 4, 2011, 12:07 am

    Wow! What a wonderful race. Congratulations to the 1st place star (and all the other stars on your team & the other teams) – that is so awesome that you & Kristien coached her 🙂 Sounds like she’ll definitely be an Olympic star someday with a time like that!

  • Allie@LiveLaughEat December 4, 2011, 12:12 am

    22:50?!?! Holy crap I couldn’t run that fast if you dragged me on a leash!

  • marian @ marianwrites December 4, 2011, 1:18 am

    caitlin, thank you so much for sharing your GOTR experiences. the posts are so inspiring! it is such a beautiful cause.

  • Alett December 4, 2011, 8:37 am

    I would be TOTALLY star struck too if Molly came here! Our local 5k is this coming weekend. Since GOTR is newer to the area the fall session uses a local 5k (Walters Run) for their race then puts on their own 5k for the culmination of the winter session. I hope the weather is nice for the girls; last year it was kinda rainy/cold.

    Wishing you a safe trip to Beantown this week. I remember that you are lecturing at a cool women’s conference. If I hadn’t already signed up for a veterinary conference in Rhode Island I totally would have taken a vacation day to register for your talk. Oh well.

    Safe & Happy Travels.
    Congrats on another successful GOTR session!!

    • Caitlin December 4, 2011, 10:21 am

      @Alett: Aw I would’ve loved to see ya. Maybe next time.

  • Molly Barker December 4, 2011, 9:28 am

    Love you girl. You are the perfect representation of what this program is all about. The world is a great place with you in it.

    • Caitlin December 4, 2011, 10:21 am

      @Molly Barker: Thanks Molly 🙂

  • Julia H. @ The Petite Spiel December 4, 2011, 8:04 pm

    Ahaha, ok no joke, I want to sing that banana chant to myself every day now. It’s so random and fun that I can just see myself instantly being in a good mood. Go girls!

  • Cindy @ The Flipping Couple December 5, 2011, 11:03 am

    I just applied for the board of the (brand new!!) chapter of GOTR up here in Minnesota. Thanks for spreading the word about this incredible organization. I can’t wait to get involved!

  • Brigid December 5, 2011, 1:04 pm

    That’s so great! I ran my first 5K ever yesterday here in Los Angeles, and there was a huge group of GOTR participants. Made me think of you!

  • Courtney April 15, 2013, 2:03 pm

    Where did you get the face stickers for the race? I’m coaching at Hutchinson Elementary School in Lakewood Colorado – and my girls would LOVE them!

  • Paula Tucker April 15, 2014, 10:11 pm

    I love the pictures from your 5k. I notice the girls are wearing the coolest face stickers. Can you let me know where you got these? Our 5k is this Saturday, but maybe for next time!

    • Caitlin April 16, 2014, 8:26 am

      They were from the GOTR online shop!

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