Jingle Bell Run

Today was the first annual Santa Fe Jingle Bell Run for Girls on the Run!  This was the 5K race that my girls in Girls on the Run have been working toward for the past 12 weeks, and was also open to other runners and people in the community. When it was originally announced that our end-of-the-season race would be in December, the other coaches and I anticipated bitter cold temperatures and snow, but we were fortunate to have an extremely warm week in Santa Fe and temperatures in the 40s for our race!

Martha and Katherine, two of my co-coaches

Face painting before the race!

One of our amazing GOTR participants and her family.

A little background information about the program... Girls on the Run (GOTR) is a national non-profit organization that provides healthy lifestyle education to girls in 3rd through 5th grade.  It is a curriculum-based after school program that meets twice a week and teaches the girls important lessons about relationships, teamwork, peer pressure, decision making, and health through activities, games and running.  Throughout the season, participants make new friends, build their confidence, and celebrate each other's unique qualities.  I have been involved in GOTR as a volunteer coach for the past two seasons.  At the end of each season, girls are paired with a Running Buddy to complete a 5K race.
More about GOTR here.

Two of our Girls on the Run team members!

My fellow coaches, Martha and Ashley

Me and my running buddy
The girls had an AMAZING time at the Jingle Bell Run, and each girl crossed the finish line!  For many of these girls, this was their first 5K run, and they were greeted by enthusiastic parents and coaches at the finish.  I was the Running Buddy for an extremely kind, intelligent, and hard-working 5th grader who is an inspiration to me and other girls on the team.  I was so proud of her today, not only for completing the race, but also for cheering on her teammates and sporting a positive and upbeat attitude throughout the day.

Girls on the Run getting ready to race

At the starting line

And they're off!

Two of our GOTR participants and their running buddies

Running with a GOTR participant and her buddy, Gabby

Almost there!

Winter races are a great way to beat the stress (and extra calories) during the holidays and contribute to something positive in the community.  I was so proud of the Girls on the Run participants today, and it was great to receive such wonderful support from the Santa Fe community!  I look forward to being a part of the Jingle Bell Run in years to come.

Stay tuned next week for an update on my Winter Running Streak (36 days in a row of running!) and for some yummy cookie recipes too!


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