GOTR & Mother’s Day bRUNch 5k Recap

This was my new volunteer gig.

I signed up to be a Running Buddy for our local GOTR program.

Here’s what it involved:

The Running Buddy provides encouragement and support to their buddy throughout the course of the season by sharing weekly notes of encouragement. These notes can be emailed or delivered to their buddy’s Head Coach.

The Running Buddy acts as a personal cheerleader for their buddy by attending the practice 5k and the end of season 5k.

The Running Buddy completes the 5k with their buddy and expresses support and enthusiasm for her accomplishment!

Girls on the Run Capital Region is a 10-week afterschool program for girls in grades 3-8 that uses running and physical activities to teach life skills and help girls develop a lifetime appreciation of health and fitness.

The 6 sites are located in Albany, Rensselaer and Schenectady counties. I volunteered as a running buddy at Elsmere, an elementary school near my home.

This spring’s 10-week season started the week of March 9th, concluded the week of May 18th.

I was paired up with Rebecca who was 10 years old and in 5th grade.  That was all I knew about her.

So each week, I wrote her a motivational letter about running and how hard it may seem and about not giving up etc. etc.

The Practice 5K was be held the last two weeks of April at the respective schools.

Mine took place on April 30. That was the day that I finally met Rebecca.

As with girls that age, she was with her friends and didn’t seem too excited to meet me. (I was told later that she was really loved getting my letters.)

We lined up together to run the practice 5K. And then she took off with a friend and the coach like a “bat out of hell.” I caught up with her to chat and found out that she is a runner and she already did the program last fall.  That meant that she already had run a 5k and besides that, she was super FAST. (She obviously didn’t need my weekly motivational messages.)

So what I thought would be a slow run/walk had me running as fast as I could to keep up with her.

And I did and she and her friend (who runs track) won.


they are on the upper right pic

Then we hung out and had snacks and waited for all the other girls to finish. (I also discovered that the assistant coach was a student at the law school where I work.)


I was a little disappointed. But when she left with her father, she gave me a big hug and said see you next Sunday. That made it worth it.


Rebecca is on the left

The Final 5K was held on May 10th in Central Park, Schenectady. This was the Mother’s Day 5K that I was planning to run. I thought that it would be non-competitive so I signed up for a race the day before. (Little did I know that my running buddy would be a speedster. Oy!)

As I have mentioned, I have run this race once before.


in 2013 and I even won my age group

I had to arrive early to meet up with 80 or so GOTR participants, their coaches & running buddies for a group photo.


There were 75 girls plus their buddies and their coaches.  Everyone was in green but I eventually did find Rebecca.


After we took the group photo, I quickly ditched my green cotton shirt.  It was warm and VERY HUMID.


Finally we lined up to start the race.


I wasn’t sure how things would play out.  Would she be faster than me or vice versa. Would we stay together??

Because of my very sore, swollen scraped knees (You can get the gory details from yesterday’s race recap), I knew that I couldn’t keep up with her.  I said “Wait for me at the finish.” I am sure she was happy enough to run with her friend and the coach.


GARY MCPHERSON – MCPHERSON PHOTOGRAPHY (my buddy is in the gray shorts in front)


So the race began and off they ran.  I quickly lost sight of them.

I was stuck in the middle of green, many walking etc.  It was slow going but that was good.

Soon it thinned out and I was able to run and my shoe came untied. (Do I have a black cloud over my head?)

I tied it and continued on. Then my band-aids were coming off one by one.  I finally stopped and took them all off.


The course was pretty varied – around the pond, through the woods, around the lake, etc.

But as I mentioned, it was quite warm so I stopped at the first water stop around mile 1.

Mile 2 was through the woods. I was very careful of the roots and uneven turf so not to have a repeat of yesterday.

Then for mile 3 we ran back in the park.  That’s when I caught up with Rebecca and her friend.  They had obviously gone out too fast and had run out of steam.  I tried to coax them on.  “You don’t want this old lady to beat you, do you?” I yelled.

But they were not interested. So I ran on and kept looking back to see if they were behind me.

Finally, I decided to just finish and wait for them at the finish line.

I also was tired and my knees were aching but after one last walk, I sprinted through the finish line.

Over 30 minutes!? WTF?

I haven’t done that since I was recovering from a broken something.

In fact I was faster yesterday when I walked up several hills and fell.

I guess this this old gal has lost her speed.  At least, for now.

About a minute or so later, the girls crossed, running as fast as they could.



They were so happy and I gave Rebecca her GOTR finishers medal.

960x540 (1)



Then I went back inside and bumped in the older ladies that I see all the time. We chatted and headed for the food.

There was an awesome food display. In addition to cookies, bagels, bars, pastries, bananas, chocolate milk, etc.


mimosas (minus the champagne)

chocolate fountain with pretzels and fruit for dipping

chocolate fountain with pretzels, cake and fruit for dipping

I didn’t want to eat too much since I was planning to go out for lunch at 3 pm.


We waited around for the awards.  Surprisedly, I came in third and actually won something this time.


That made me feel a little better about my performance.

My only goal was to have fun and finish uninjured.  And I did!!


mile 1 – 9:45
mile 2- 9:52
mile 3 – 9:25
.14 –  8:51

Garmin time – 30:09

It was not chip timed.  They just collected the bottom of the bibs.



I rushed home to get ready to go out for my birthday dinner.  I decided that I wanted to go up to Bolton Landing and eat with a view of Lake George.


view from our table

Afterwards, we drove to our marina and hung out on the deck with friends. All in all, a pretty good day.

I’m linking this post up with Tara at Running n’ Reading for her Weekend Update!

Happy Running! Anyone else ever volunteered with a GOTR program? How was your Mother’s Day?  Did you race?





13 thoughts on “GOTR & Mother’s Day bRUNch 5k Recap

  1. No doubt it’s a combination of the fall, 2 back to back races & the heat. And dare I say maybe too many races? You WILL get your speed back. I’m sure of it.


  2. Congrats on your placement! I wouldn’t worry about your speed. It’s the heat, multiple races, and you may be banged up a little from the fall too! 😉 I adore the top with the circles. So cute! What brand?


  3. I wish there was a GOTR program in my area – I think it would be fun (although challenging) to help get the next generation into running. Love that you ended up beating your little speedster! And yeah, I agree with the other commenters – it was warm, plus back-to-back racing contributed to your over-30 finish. Still, great job, and how nice that you won a prize!


  4. Congrats on the race and another AG award! It is really hard to race back to back days having just done it myself. Your speed will come back when you have a little more rest time between races. Love the birthday pic with your hubby. You look great in your dress!


  5. Don’t be so hard on your self about the speed. You still snagged an AG! and after multiple races and being sore. Your little speedster is cute. I have not done The GOTR here yet. That really is a cute running outfit! The marina looks pretty – love the mountain view 😉


  6. I had a leisurely run/walk through the park for the 5k (I stuck with my girl the whole way and she ran about 30% of the race — she did awesome!). It was such a blast to see those little girls smile!

    It was nice running into you again! Congrats on your AG award.


  7. Congrats on your finish and placing in your age group – back to back races are tough! I was thrilled to see your post — I’m the race director for this race and loved reading about it from a runner’s perspective!


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