My Experience With SoleMates
Right now I’m still perfecting the art of the running comeback, but this time last year I was nearing the end of marathon training for the Chicago Marathon. I was running double digit mile runs every weekend. Cool huh? I really enjoyed the process of training to run such a long distance and seeing it through to completing the Chicago Marathon last October. It taught me that I can do ANYTHING. I sometimes look back at the pictures to remind myself that I actually did it…. sometimes I think it must have been my super stealth, super athletic alter ego... Julie Wunderful perhaps?
What made the experience even more special and lasting is that I ran the race as a Girls on the Run SoleMate.
See my super cool SoleMate shirt? I am so glad I have a better camera now too… but I digress…
Girls on the Run is a group that uses running and other activities to teach girls how to be confident and strong. Their goal is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. I volunteered at several Girls on the Run 5K’s before becoming a SoleMate.
I even got to hand out the medals at the finish line!
The SoleMates are the adult charity running program that fundraises for Girls on the Run. The money raised goes to ensure that every girl, regardless of their families economic status, can participate.
These are the women in WNC who were SoleMates last year. This board is from a recruiting event they held last month.
You go girls!
Running the Chicago Marathon as a SoleMate gave me the chance to run for more than just myself. It allowed me to SHOW the girls in the program that you can do anything you put your mind to; even a marathon. It’s a lesson you can carry over to so many other parts of your life. The whole experience goes along with one of my favorite life motto's: ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS.
I wrote about how I think the program is so important for young girls in my community, teaching them to be strong and self confident and asked for people to sponsor my 26.2 mile run. With my friends, family and readers help I raised almost $800 to help girls on scholarships.
Guess what? You can do this too. It’s easier than you might think!
To be a SoleMate you commit to running (or biking or swimming) an athletic event of your choice; it can be anything that is challenging to you. I chose the Chicago Marathon, but you can run a shorter distance as well. It does NOT have to be a marathon. You then register HERE. By registering you commit to spreading the word about Girls on the Run and ask your friends to sponsor you in your athletic event. The minimum fundraising amount is $250. By committing to be a SoleMate you are not just helping an awesome cause, you will also get all sorts of support from the organization to make sure you complete your goal.
And you get a super cute shirt
Girls on the Run SoleMates is a great charity to run for because they have a lot of flexibility in which race you choose and how much you want to raise. They make it very easy to help by creating a fundraising page for you. You can run a race anytime for yourself, but to train for a reason… the chance to change the lives of girls, makes it that much better. The money you raised also stays in the community AND it makes a lot of sense to me because you are running to support girls running.
I would highly recommend this experience to anyone.
Other Fundraising Groups
SoleMates is just one a many charity running programs that you be a part of. You can participate in an endurance event to support and raise money for all different kinds of causes. SoleMates worked perfect for me, but maybe something else is a little closer to your heart?
Here is a list of 10 other options for charity running. They all work about the same way but have different details. They may work with different kinds of events (or only specific events; ie Disney Marathon) or have different fundraising minimums. I’ve linked the websites so you can look over each one and find a good match for your interested and needs.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training – Raise money to fight blood cancer
American Cancer Society – Raise money for the fight against cancer.
Team Fisher House – Raise money to support families of deployed military men and women
Run for Autism – Raise money for Autism Research
Susan G Komen Marathon for a Cure- Raise money for breast cancer research and support programs
St. Judes Hero’s, Run for a Reason – Raise money for St. Judes hospital, which treats children with cancer and other serious illness
Alz Stars- Raise money for alzheimer’s association
Team Semper Fi – Raise money for Semper Fi fund supporting injured or critically ill members of the US Armed Forces.
Team Challenge – Raise money for Crohns & Colitis research
Crowdrise – A website that helps you create your own fundraiser for any charity that you love (Great to support smaller or local charities!)
HAVE YOU EVER RUN FOR CHARITY?
DO YOU KNOW OF ANY OTHER CHARITY RUNNNING PROGRAMS? PLEASE ADD THEM TO MY LIST IN THE COMMENTS BELOW