I am linking up with Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup!
Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostesses and visit some other bloggers.
Today’s topic is a free one so I am choosing: Five Reasons To Mentor New Runners
1. Finding New Places To Run
When I volunteered in the STEM program last year, I ran at UAlbany because the group chose to run there. Now that I changed jobs, it has become my go to place to run. It’s safe and lit up at night. And in the winter, they keep the sidewalks clean.
2. Meeting New People
The other mentors in the STEM program are awesome. It’s always fun to meet other runners. We bond instantly. I always look forward to meeting the new mentors each year.
I haven’t had as much contact with the running buddies in GOTR but the ones I have met were very nice.
3. Fits into your Running Schedule
I run after work anyway. So my STEM runs fit right in. Yes, they are walk/run but often, I get there early and run a few miles or I stay afterward to run. It causes no lapses in my training.
4. Making a Difference in Someone Else’s Life
I can’t explain how it feels to watch women who have suffered so much in their lives be successful.
And to see the joy young girls get from participating in their first race.
I actually did so little but hopefully me being at their practices and races did make a difference.
5. It’s motivating.
New runners’ enthusiasm for running is contagious. It actually makes me want to run more!!
The picture above was from my first mentoring experience in 2010. They were a bunch of young mothers running their first 5k. These ladies actually are responsible for me pushing myself to try a half marathon.
Recently my friend from Russia decided to become a runner (because of me). I guess I mentored her from afar without even realizing it. She even hired a coach back in Moscow. We got to run together for the first time recently when she flew to NYC to run a 5k.
Happy Running! Have you ever mentored a new runner? If so, how did you benefit?
Sometimes I unofficially mentor new/slower runners in my running group. Didn’t happen this year. 😦
Since everything is after work, it’s actually harder for me. I’m a morning person & by evening I’m tired and especially in fall/winter, motivating myself out of the house at night is hard! We even eat out less.
Good for you for giving back — I know you gain so much from it.
There are opportunities that don’t take any time (such as GOTR and IRUN4) but mentoring and volunteering isn’t for everyone. I enjoy it and hope to do even more if I ever retire.
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I love to get involved with GOTR. Maybe once my youngest goes to college, I’ll have more time. Right?
In our GOTR program, you can be a running buddy and you just send notes and participate in the race. So it doesn’t take much time. You are more involved if you are a coach. I would love to do that but don’t have the time now.
UA Albany does look like a really nice place to run. I’ve thought about volunteering with our local GOTR since I am officially a coach, but they meet at an inconvenient time. That new runner enthusiasm is very contagious. The only person I know of I’ve motivated to start running was my oldest son, who quickly surpassed me in ability. But, you never know who’s watching.
My stepson ran track in high school. I wish he would run again. Same here. Coaching takes place in the afternoon when I’m at work. That’s why I am only a running buddy which isn’t as rewarding.
I have been a running buddy for GOTR and although the practices were only okay the race was fun and I loved seeing them (I was a buddy to twins) finish the race.
I agree. Not much interaction until the race.
What a wonderful post. I think it’s great. I hope to one day work with GOTR but right now my little people are too young and the times just don’t work well for my schedule.
being a buddy instead of a coach doesn’t take any time at all.
That is wonderful you have been able to share your running!
I have not found many real life run friends, maybe one day…
you have lots of virtual ones!!
What a great program! and sounds like you have found your place! The group is lucky to have you!
It makes you appreciate your life and when you see how hard others have it.