Running Buddy Spotlight: Jaclyn Kessler Starr

Running Buddies are an important part of our 5K event each season; helping motivate the girls as they run, jump, skip or dance across the finish line! Jaclyn, a Girls on the Run NYC supporter and 5K Running Buddy tells us about her experiences.

How did you get involved with Girls on the Run NYC initially?
My very good friend, Jen Klein, joined the board of Girls on the Run NYC a few years ago and that’s how I first learned about Girls on the Run. I have been a runner since college, so I was really excited to be a Running Buddy because it combined an activity that I really love with a terrific and worthwhile cause. After my first 5k with GOTR, I was hooked and I have participated whenever I could since then.

What was your favorite moment of the 5K?
It’s hard to pick a favorite moment of the 5k because I feel like I’ve had a terrific experience each time I’ve done it. My last experience (December 2013) was particularly great, though. I had three girls who all decided to run/walk with me and they were adorable. I spent most of the three miles in the middle of two of them, holding hands with each of them and just talking about school, their families, running, Girls on the Run and all sorts of stuff. We all ran through the finish line holding hands and even though the girls were tired, they got a burst of energy when we got back into the stadium and saw the finish line. After the race, we took a few photos and the girls gave me their moms’ phone numbers, so I could text them the photos. A couple hours later, I was having brunch with my college roommate, who was also a running buddy, and my phone rang. It was one of the girl’s grandmother’s – she called to thank me for the photo and to tell me how proud she was of her granddaughter. That was incredible and made me so happy.

Why do you feel it is important to support Girls on the Run NYC?
My husband (Jason Starr) and I support Girls on the Run because we feel it is a fantastic and well-run (no pun intended :)) organization with a great and important mission. It is easy to understand that the skills that Girls on the Run teaches, and the age group that the program focuses on, have the potential to have a lifetime impact on the participants. It’s also nice because even with a modest financial or time dedication, you can see the concrete ways in which your support matters and fosters the program’s objectives — whether it be through providing scholarships for the program, running shoes to girls who need them or the pure sense of accomplishment of helping a girl finishing her first 5k. Girls on the Run is an organization that we are excited about supporting in various ways for the long term.

What do you look forward to being involved with in the future?
Since I learned about Girls on the Run, I have always wished I could be a coach and make a more consistent time commitment. My current work schedule doesn’t allow it, but I hope to become more involved with Girls on the Run in some capacity in the future.

What were you like in 4th grade?

I was a serious gymnast when I was younger, so when I was in 4th grade I was tiny and basically one giant muscle. I was also a huge nerd – I loved school and reading long books. I read Gone with the Wind during 4th grade and my teacher thought I was nuts. We think Jaclyn is great!

Our next end of season 5K will be taking place in June 2014. To receive more information on being a 5K Running Buddy or 5K General Volunteer as the event approaches, sign up for our mailing list HERE.