As we kick off National Volunteer Week, we are thrilled to spotlight Nicole, a long-time 5k volunteer and co-chair of our Communications Committee! Each season, Nicole also brings friends to join her at the GOTR NYC 5k and support our girls through her “Team Run Happy!” Read on to hear from Nicole about her experience as a 5k volunteer and what Girls on the Run means to her.
What brought you to Girls on the Run?
One of my strongest support systems has been my running group. I've made some of my best friends and that bond has carried me through distances I didn't think possible. I learned about Girls on the Run from a fellow runner, and I loved the idea from the start — that an organization could help girls find the same confidence, empowerment, and support through running. I decided to sign up to volunteer at the 5K in December 2016, and after that I was hooked!
Tell us what it's like to volunteer at the 5k!
My team volunteers as course marshals. It's a crucial job because you're responsible for keeping the course clear and the girls safe. But, as many runners know, the best part of a race is the people who cheer along the way, and this is exactly what you get to do as a course marshal. You're outfitted with signs and cowbells, and you get to see every single girl run by. Some are full of joy, but for others, your encouragement is what keeps them going. Cheers bring smiles to their faces and they pick up the pace to come in for a high five. Seeing how we can inspire the girls and — in turn — being inspired by their achievement, is what the 5K is all about for me.
What is your favorite GOTR memory?
Seeing the girls speak at last year's Sneaker Soiree. As a communications committee member, I'm always working to spread the message about how great GOTR is and it was so nice to be reminded of the impact it makes firsthand.
What do you do to be healthy, joyful, and confident?
I'm an avid runner and make an effort to get out there at least a few days a week (mixed in with strength training and yoga.) But my absolute favorite runs are my weekend "destination" runs. My fiancé and I will pick somewhere fun to run to, maybe a new restaurant in another neighborhood or a brewery in another borough, and plot out a long run, where we can reward ourselves with great food or a cold beer for finishing. I also try to get out in Central Park at least once a week with one of my committee co-chairs, Julie, for a run.
What GOTR event are you most looking forward to?
I can't wait for the Sneaker Soiree! Last year was my first and I loved getting to get dressed up but wear my favorite colorful speakers, hearing from the girls firsthand, and enjoying some delicious refreshments. I already have my tickets for this year!
Interested in volunteering at the 5k like Nicole? Visit gotrnyc.org/5kinfo to sign up!