SoleMate Spotlight: Katie Davidson

Originally from Atlanta, Katie Davidson is a runner, food lover, and traveler. Katie has been actively involved on all levels with Girls on the Run since the Fall season of 2012. While she lived abroad, Katie was on hiatus from coaching, but her dedication to Girls on the Run continued as she raised funds to help support the program. Currently, she is a coach at Girls on the Run Atlanta and a Girls on the Run NYC SoleMate. Thanks so very much for your dedication, Katie!!

What motivated you to run this race for Girls on the Run NYC?
It's always been a dream to run the NYC Marathon. Running as a NYC SoleMate, I get to combine my passion for running with my passion for Girls on the Run and give back a little for all the girls and all that the city gives to me.

How did you get involved with Girls on the Run? How did you hear about us?
I've been involved with Girls on the Run since 2012 when I started as an assistant coach and running buddy in Nashville. I moved to Atlanta last fall and quickly joined the local council and took up coaching. I look for any and every opportunity to be involved with the councils, wherever I go. I am even helping coordinate new school sites for my sister in the Central Arkansas council.

My mother brought me to NYC for the first time when I graduated college. The sights and sounds of the city are magical for me! I've been back every year since that initial trip. Some people want to escape to Disney or the ocean -- for me, it's the city! Girls on the Run has a very special place in my heart. As a volunteer, I'm helping to impact the lives of these young girls in ways they don't even realize; giving back a part of myself. And the most amazing part is at the end of each season, I realize they've impacted me in ways I also never thought possible.

We train the girls to complete a 5k throughout each season, and they each have good training days and bad. The girls always encourage each other, no matter what too. And then, on race day, as they cross the finish line and are able to celebrate themselves, they learn the impact of their perseverance. To me, that is what training for a marathon is all about -- it tests your mental and physical abilities, but on race day, you are able to cross the finish line and say I DID IT!

One day this fall, my group of girls was completing their practice 5k. None of the girls were allowed to leave until every girl finished the 5k. It was a loop, and a hilly on at that, and the girls had to run it 10 times to hit the 5k mark. We happened to have a girl who was struggling a bit towards her last few laps so I began to run with her to talk to her and keep her thinking about other things as I could hear her "I can't do this" coming out. As we approached the point where all the other girls were waiting and cheering, several of those girls joined us for her last 2 laps. Watching those girls encourage, motivate, and keep her going was phenomenal. I hope that someday, when she's in a situation where she thinks she can't, she remembers that day and realizes that she can.

What is your favorite part about being a SoleMate?
Being able to give something back to the program, because these girls have given me so much. I never want a girl who wants to participate to not have the ability.

What is your favorite running accessory?
Just one? I really have two that I absolutely, 100% cannot live without:
1. My FlipBelt -- it stores everything and never budges
2. Compression socks -- if you have calf or shin problems, this is an absolute must.

"The girls inspire me. Each girl is unique and special and getting to be a part of their life and watching the gleam in their eyes as they celebrate themselves at the end of each season is simply priceless."

Thank you, Katie! You can support Katie in her fundraising efforts by visiting her online campaign page here: www.raceplanner.com/donate/TNFashionLove-GOTR-NYC-Marathon