5k SoleMate Spotlight: Helen & Sophia

Today, we spotlight Helen and her daughter Sophia, a Girl on the Run! In their first season of the program, they are SoleMates for our 5k to raise funds so that more girls can participate! We talked to Helen about why she and Sophia decided to be SoleMates:

My daughter and I first became involved with Girls on the Run this Fall, I have coached and my daughter has participated. We both have absolutely loved the program. I have been so impressed with what it has taught the girls and how it has inspired them so positively, not just physically but also emotionally. My daughter and I decided together that we both wanted to run for SoleMates to help ensure more girls have the opportunity to participate in this transformative program.

What does Girls on the Run mean to you?
Girls on the Run is so much more than just a running program which many people think it is when they first hear about it, myself included.  The curriculum is amazing and it helps girls develop social, emotional and psychological skills through fun, engaging lessons in combination with physical activity. Through these lessons and building up to the 5k the girls realize what they are capable of, which is often more than they thought possible, which is very motivating and empowering. I sincerely believe in all this program provides girls at what can sometimes be a challenging time in a girls' lives. It truly helps build girls' confidence and self esteem and teachers them healthy habits that they can build on over their lifetime. 

How has running impacted your lives?
I actually only started running 3 years ago. I had always been a healthy person but I was quite unfit. Entering my 40s made me want to become fitter so I took up walking initially which morphed into running. It was a turning point for me in my life and I have since run a number of races, including two half marathons. I have gained so much from running. I find it to be very meditative and a great stress relief. No matter what is going on in my life, I always feel much better after a run. I especially love running outside and taking in all this amazing city that we live in. 

My daughter has always loved anything athletic and had been keen to start running for awhile but the program has provided her with so much more than just getting ready to run a 5k run. It has really helped boost her confidence. Since starting the program she is now more willing to push herself out of her comfort zone which is something that I hadn’t anticipated. 

Share your #1 fundraising tip!
I think that you need to be sincerely passionate about the cause which I definitely am about Girls on the Run!

What are you most looking forward to at the Girls on the Run 5k this December 6?
I absolutely cannot wait to run with my daughter for her first 5k! Crossing the finish line will be a moment I will remember forever and will culminate all that she and her team mates have gained from this amazing season.

Congratulations Helen & Sophia on your great success as SoleMates! We are so excited to cheer for you both at the 5k! Support Team Stephan Girls a