GOTR SoleMates!

I have been volunteering with the Girls on the Run (GOTR) of Monongalia County for quite some time now, but went through a period where I felt like I wasn’t doing enough. Sure I was attending board meetings and helping with the 5K, but I still felt like I needed to do more. Back in the spring, the discussion came up at one of our meetings about a new SoleMates Program coordinator position that needed filled. I wrestled with the idea for several months before I finally decided to jump right in. Man, am I glad I did!

If you aren’t familiar with GOTR, let me first give you a little spiel about that. GOTR combines training for a 5K running event with healthy living education. The programs instill self-esteem and strong values through health education, life skills development, mentoring relationships, and physical training– all of which are accomplished through an active collaboration with girls and their parents, schools, volunteers, staff, and the community. Basically, it’s a program in which young girls are provided the opportunity to get together and discuss all of the bold words above. It’s a great way to help offset or prevent the growing numbers of body image issues girls are facing earlier and earlier each year.

GOTR is constantly growing and since it’s a non-profit, it’s always looking for new ways to stay funded. That is where the SoleMates Program comes in to play. (Text below is what you’ll find on the SoleMates page of the GOTR of Mon County home page.)

The Girls on the Run SoleMates program provides adults an opportunity to raise money for Girls on the Run while training for the athletic event of their choice. SoleMates set personal goals such as running in a marathon or 10k event to raise money for our local Girls on the Run council.

Whether you are participating in your first or fiftieth marathon, by becoming a SoleMate you are doing much more than achieving your personal fitness goals. By asking friends to support your event training and participation with a donation on your behalf to Girls on the Run, you are showing your true commitment to the values we are instilling in girls everywhere to celebrate their physical and emotional health. Sign up today to be a SoleMates and let your love of running make a difference in the life of a girl.

So far, we have two SoleMates signed up and ready to go. The first is Sera Mathews. I first met Sera at the GOTR/West Virginia University Gender Equality Movement (GEM) 

Yes, those are my arms and yes I cropped my face out of this picture with G.E.M. member Miranda Miller. This was taken at the screening.  

hosted screening of the film MissRepresentation. Sera was interested in volunteering with GOTR, but wasn’t sure where to start. A few nights after our first meeting, I received an email from her expressing interest in the program. Beyond excited, I immediately got her started with the process. Fast forward about a week and a half and I was fortunate enough to “be in the right place at the right time.” I had stopped by our SBASE Camp office in Morgantown to meet our Council Director Laurie to pick up some SoleMates goodies. While there, I met Rachel Byrne, who was also meeting with Laurie about some GOTR business. Giving her a quick SoleMates pitch must have done the trick, because she also emailed me later in the evening about joining the program! Two SoleMates in one month! In January, Sera will be participating in the Run to Read Half Marathon in Fairmont, W.Va. as her targeted race and Rachel will be doing the Pittsburgh Marathon in July. Thanks again, girls!!

As mentioned before, if you are interested in becoming a SoleMate for the GOTR of Mon County, please contact me directly at We’re always looking for new participants and did I mention there’s a goody packet involved? 🙂

My Healthy Tip of the Day: Participate in your local SoleMates Program, of course! If you aren’t in my area, visit and do a quick search to find a council in your area. It’s a great cause and a great excuse to get active!


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