SoleMate Spotlight: Jen Fick

Today we shine the spotlight on Jen Fick! Jen will run the Brooklyn Half Marathon as a SoleMate for Girls on the Run NYC.

Why did you decide to become a SoleMate and fundraise to support Girls on the Run?

I was already signed up for the Brooklyn Half, so it seemed like a great way to give the miles extra meaning.

Why did you decided to sign up to run the Brooklyn Half Marathon?

I love this race - it will be my 4th time running it.  It's a terrific course, and you can't beat the boardwalk finish line.

What does the Girls on the Run mission mean to you?

I think it is so important to teach young girls about the value and strength of their bodies' that has nothing to do with their appearance, or their relationship to other people.  I also think that the the skills you learn while training for a distance benefits us outside of running.  Patience, perseverance, following through to achieve a goal, etc.

Tell us a little bit about your running history!

I've been running since 2012 - I signed up for my first half marathon to fundraise for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as a member of their Team in Training program.  I've been at it ever since.  I just ran my first full marathon this past fall in Philly, and last summer I completed my first Sprint Triathlon.  This will be my 9th Half Marathon.

What do you do besides running to keep yourself healthy, confident and joyful?

I play drums in a band. I've been drumming since I was 15, and I love it.

Favorite place to run in NYC?

In NYC - Central park.  Across the river (where I live in NJ) - Liberty State park and the Hudson river waterfront.

Favorite time of day to run?

Early in the morning, especially in the summer.

Any other fun facts you want to share?

This half marathon will be my 9th - I hope to do my 10th by the end of the year.

What words of encouragement would you share with a girl starting with Girls on the Run?

You can do it!  Don't worry about everyone else around you, or how fast you can go - run your own race.  You will be great!

Thank you so much, Jen! 

SoleMate Spotlight: Stephanie Peterson

Today we shine the spotlight on Stephanie Peterson! Stephanie is running the Buffalo Half Marathon as a SoleMate for Girls on the Run NYC!

Why did you decide to become a SoleMate and fundraise to support Girls on the Run?

My boyfriend's cousin was a SoleMate and she encouraged me to get involved! I read the mission of the program and thought it was a great cause to support.

Why did you decided to sign up to run the Buffalo Half Marathon?

I had always wanted to run a full marathon, so my New Year's Resolution for this year was to complete a half. This will be my first race of any kind!

What does the Girls on the Run mission mean to you?

It's so important for young girls to see themselves as strong and independent, and be aware of their self worth and capabilities. The Girls on the Run mission seeks to accomplish just that - it encourages young girls to become strong, independent, confident women through running. That's the sort of future I want for every young girl.

Tell us a little bit about your running history!

As I mentioned, this will be my first official race. I competed in track and field in high school and have always enjoyed running on my own so I'm looking forward to taking this to the next step.

What do you do besides running to keep yourself healthy, confident and joyful?

I've just recently learned the importance of healthy cooking and eating. I was the sort of person who could screw up cereal (and was lucky enough to have a boyfriend who cooks) so I never really spent much time in the kitchen, but now I have put a lot of effort into learning to cook and eat healthy foods. I've really come to enjoy it!

Favorite post-run treat?

Banana, peanut butter, and almond milk smoothie.

Favorite time of day to run?

First thing in the morning.

Any other fun facts you want to share?

On top of training for my first half marathon, I am currently studying for the LSAT with the goal of attending law school next fall. Running helps to keep me energized and focused when I hit the books after a long day at work.

What words of encouragement would you share with a girl starting with Girls on the Run?

Never forget your self worth and never give up. You'll be surprised what you're capable of when you believe in yourself!

Thank you so much Stephanie - and good luck on those LSATs! If you want to support Stephanie's fundraising efforts, you can visit her fundraising page here.

Volunteer Shoutout: Kim Bielak

Today we are giving a special shoutout to one of our Superstar Volunteers, Kim Bielak! Kim is an Events Volunteer with Girls on the Run NYC and a Founder of Class for a Cause. She helped build National Fitness Day - the first ever is on May 10th! As part of National Fitness Day, she has worked with fitness studios from NYC to LA to offer classes with proceeds that go to Girls on the Run.

What is the origin story of Class for a Cause?

The idea for Class for a Cause actually came out of a trip to Colombia I took last summer where I was really moved by seeing such a stark contrast between neighborhoods. For example, while you could hardly tell the difference between the tourist-centric neighborhood and Santa Monica with all the juice and salad bars, the area my good friend was living in at the time was just getting its first gym, and we saw parts of town where the residents didn't even have access to their own fresh fruits they were growing.

It took witnessing this first hand to realize that this wasn't just a phenomenon in Colombia, but also in my backyard, where access to workout classes and other health & wellness trends were just not attainable for everyone. I am such a strong believer in today's trends in health and wellness to have a positive impact on society, but I wanted a way that people could both do good for themselves and expand the reach of this impact outside their immediate community at the same time. The rest is history!


How did National Fitness Day come about?

It was entirely serendipitous! We were looking for a good day on which to host our first Class for a Cause event, and we absolutely could not believe it when after a ton of Googling we could not find an overarching National Fitness Day in the US!

Because we so strongly believe in the power of fitness to change lives, we decided to put a stake in the ground and declare one day to celebrate strength and empowerment through it. How cool would it be to have everyone across the country working out on the same day? Our goal is to fill the streets with runners and the studios with friends.


Why did you choose Girls on the Run? Why did you want to get more involved? 

We chose Girls on the Run to be our first year's beneficiary because the mission is perfectly aligned with our own - to expand the positive impacts of fitness, and where better than the next generation. We also felt that with 60% of girls receiving some sort of scholarship to be able to afford the program, we knew we were reaching a community that may not have many of these benefits otherwise.

I personally started volunteering for Girls on the Run shortly after I found them because I was inspired by the stories I heard from people connected with the organization, and it's pretty neat how supportive the community is in and of itself - through GOTR I've met so many other women who also believe in fitness and really just want to make a difference.


What does the Girls on the Run mission mean to you?

I am such a big believer that at the end of the day empowering our bodies empowers us at a much, much deeper level, so using an experience and running-based curriculum to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident resonated so much. I personally experienced running turn me into a much more confident and empowered person when I trained for my first half marathon. I thought I would never be a runner, and so I took so much pride in watching myself become stronger and stronger one step at a time. My job is done when everyone has had a chance to experience this feeling. 


How does empowering girls through Girls on the Run connect to Class for a Cause?

It is this exact empowerment that we aim to celebrate on Wednesday. For people to get their sweat on and do good for themselves, and to give back so that we can bring the same sense of joy and confidence to girls across the country in Girls on the Run programs.


Thank you, Kim! We're sending you a SuperStar Energy Award!


If you want to find a National Fitness Day class near you, click here for the full list of classes.

For a Class for a Cause shirt to support Girls on the Run, click here. And to join some GOTR volunteers for a Barry's Bootcamp class, click here

SoleMate Spotlight: Betina Evancha

Today we shine the spotlight on Betina Evancha! Betina will run the SHAPE Half Marathon as a SoleMate for Girls on the Run NYC!

Why did you decide to become a SoleMate and fundraise to support Girls on the Run?

Running has been really important in my life, and I want more young women to be given the chance to develop that kind of joyous hobby.

Why did you decided to sign up to run the Shape Half Marathon?

I've been running a couple of half marathons a year for a while, and hope to complete the New York Marathon this fall. Helping to raise money for a great charity added another layer of awesomeness to what was already going to be a lovely race.

What does the Girls on the Run mission mean to you?

Running has been very meaningful to me as a young adult. It helps me explore a new place, and settle back in once I get home. It lets me have wonderful long conversations with a friend, or just listen to any music I want. It connects me to the city I live in, de-stresses me, and makes me feel powerful. 

It seems important to me that young women be introduced to something so wonderful as early as possible. Girls on the Run does just that!

Tell us a little bit about your running history!

I played soccer in middle school and high school, and wasn't that excited about running. But my father encouraged me to go out and run anyway, and it slowly became something I did regularly: from running to reduce stress in college to doing my favorite leafy loop at home. About five years ago, I signed up for my first half marathon, and I've since fallen in love with long distance running. There aren't that many other excuses to listen to an entire musical front to back :)

What do you do besides running to keep yourself healthy, confident and joyful?

I love all kinds of fitness, but particularly boxing, spinning and yoga. I also play on my company's volleyball team :)

Favorite place to run in NYC?

Brooklyn Bridge in the morning, before it gets crowded.

Favorite time of day to run?

In the morning (if I can get up in time).

What words of encouragement would you share with a girl starting with Girls on the Run?

Running can be hard - don't let anyone make you think it's easy. But there's nothing better than finishing a difficult thing!

Thank you, Betina! If you want to support Betina in her fundraising efforts, you can visit her fundraising page here.

Dashing Whippets Running Team Names Girls on the Run NYC Official Charity Partner of its 2017 Dashing Whippets Track Meet

April 22, 2017 event draws runners from across tri-state area
A significant portion of the revenue of the event to be presented to GOTRNYC

            New York, N.Y. – The Dashing Whippets Running Team has announced that Girls on the Run NYC will be the Official Charity Partner to its 2017 Track Meet.  

            “We are very pleased to select Girls on the Run on the basis of its track record for success in doing such important work,” said Richard Hsieh, President of the Dashing Whippets Running Team.  

            Allison Hauser, Executive Director of Girls on the Run NYC, shared, “We are so excited that the Dashing Whippets selected Girls on the Run NYC as its charity partner.   The Dashing Whippets Track Meet will be a great event that also illustrates what we teach our girls: running is fun, empowering, and rewarding.”

            Girls on the Run inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.

            The Dashing Whippets Running Team is a competitive running team based in New York City and number 650 runners.  The 2017 Track Meet will be the Club’s 7th Track Meet. 

            The Track Meet will be held April 22, 2017 at 8:30 am, at the 6th Street East River Track, East River Park, in Manhattan.   Access is available via pedestrian bridges at East 6th Street and East 10th Street.   Registration information is available here: dashingwhippets.org/dashing-whippets-2017-track-meet/

For further information about Girls on the Run NYC, please contact:           
Allison Hauser at allison.hauser@girlsontherun.org.

For more information about the Dashing Whippets Running Team, please contact:
Matthew Wong at matthew@dashingwhippets.org.