Ready, Set, Run!

We have been practicing our ENERGY AWARD cheers all summer and we CANNOT wait to start our Fall season! In the spirit of starting the season, we wanted to share our TOP THREE tips for getting ready for the season.

STRETCH! One of the most important parts of any workouts is stretching your muscles. But why stop there? Not only do we want to encourage our teams to stretch our muscles we also want you to s-t-r-e-t-c-h your comfort zone. Go into this season with an open heart and an open mind and you will be amazed by how much these lil’ GOTR girls will help you stretch and transform into the best version of YOU! Whether you are a coach or a parent, your GOTR girl(s) has her own unique way of learning the lesson and demonstrating her knowledge. Ask her questions! When you challenge her to think critically about what she is learning, she will in turn challenge and teach you.

LEARN TO LOVE THE EMAIL *DING* NOTIFICATION! We here at Girls on the Run of the Rockies like to keep you in the know! Throughout the season we will send you a 411 to make sure you have all the information you need. Coaches, don’t be afraid to send the parents an email to recap the week. Parents, don’t be afraid to reach out to your coach or the GOTR Rockies staff when you have questions, concerns, praise, or even an inspiring story. We love to hear from you and we will try our best to make you love our emails with engaging and important content.

START TRAINING! One of the most rewarding parts of the season is seeing every single GOTR girl finish the race that they have been training for, the only thing sweeter is seeing her complete it with the ones that love and support her. While all coaches are registered to run already, parents, friends, the mailman, your sister’s friend’s roommate’s mom can also register to run. CLICK HERE to register to run! Need help with a training plan? There are a few apps and a few online training plans that can help you get going. Couch to 5K is a free app that will get you to your goal in 8 weeks OR you can CLICK HERE for an online 10 week training plan. You don’t have to be a runner to have fun and celebrate the season!

5 Reasons to be a Coach…

It is not easy to pick *just five* reasons why coaching is so rewarding but we did our best! Here are 5 reasons (in no particular order) why we think coaching ROCKS!

SERIOUS GIRL POWER! Now, more than ever, girls need strong role models. Being a GOTR coach gives you the chance to mentor a group of girls and show them how much your star power can shine at any age. Girls on the Run has already done all of the leg work of creating the curriculum and detailing each lesson down to the minute. Your job is just to enjoy the experience and make sure you are doing your very best to communicate the lesson while bringing in your own pizzazz!

YOU CAN RUN A 5K TOO! If you are like me, a 5K is a LOFTY goal. I never thought I could run more than two minutes. I tried apps and plans but running was my arch nemesis… then I started coaching at Girls on the Run. I told myself that if these girls can train and run a 5K, I can too. I started running at practice. I would run a lap and then walk and chat for a lap. I loved when the girls zoomed by me and shouted, “GREAT JOB!” I was motivated by my team, I worked in some running on the days when I wasn’t coaching, and I did it! From coaching, I set bigger goals for myself and have been able to achieve them.

IT’S GOOD FOR YOU! Volunteering is a great way to make a difference in others’ lives but also help you feel fulfilled- mind, body, and soul. You will go through these lessons with the girls and you will be surprised with how much you will learn! As you reflect on what you are teaching the girls, we want you to bring your own experiences to the circle. The girls want to connect with you and the more you can bring your own experience and share what makes you special, the better!

YOU DESERVE TO HAVE SOME FUN! Being a GOTR coach is fun! Having 10-15 bright, smiley faces greet you after school twice a week is the best destressor. You can check your worries at the door and focus on the immense value you are bringing to the lives of the girls on your team. For 90 minutes twice a week, you only have to think about your team and their energy- we want our GOTR girls to be okay with feeling every emotion so we talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly and help the GOTR girls work through their triumphs and struggles which makes us, as coaches, feel AMAZING!

YOU CAN CHANGE GIRLS’ LIVES! By volunteering your time and energy to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident, you can make a lasting impact on their lives. One parent told us, “This has been a very positive program for my daughter. She is now standing up for herself. She used to be bothered by girls saying mean things, not anymore…” We aren’t just teaching running- we are teaching girls to set goals and work towards them. We are teaching girls to stand up for themselves. And we are teaching girls to grow up to be strong women!




COS 5k May20 Photos

COACH SPOTLIGHT: Kristen Kennedy

Name: Kristen Kennedy

Hometown: Colorado Springs, CO

Age: 35coach-Kennedy

Favorite Hobbies:  Yoga and hiking with my dogs.  Two blue heelers, they have a lot of energy!

Profession: Project Analyst

Favorite GOTR Energy Award:  I like them all – the girls come up with some funny ones at every practice.

How long have you been involved with Girls on the Run?  This is my first season.

What inspired you to get involved with GOTR Rockies?  I attended an International Women’s Day event in Colorado Springs and they had a speaker from GOTR.  I thought it looked like an incredible program and applied to be a coach.  I’m so glad I did!  It’s been fun to work with the girls and other coaches (and get moving myself!) – it’s the best part of my day!

What’s your favorite thing about being involved?  To see the girls progression and attitude changes.  We just did our practice 5K and some of the girls that have had a hard time running throughout the season really tried running as much as they could for the practice.  Everyone had a good time and they are so excited to run the 5K with their families.


Why should other women get involved?   It’s just really fulfilling.  The girls are funny, and fun and it’s really neat to see how some of the lessons click with them.



Name: Maya Fusako

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Age: 35

Favorite Hobbies: Coloring, hiking, ultra marathons, stage racing

Profession: Pilates Teacher and FT graduate student

Favorite GOTR Energy Award: Peel the Banana!

How long have you been involved with Girls on the Run? March 2017

What inspired you to get involved with GOTR Rockies? I wanted to be part of an organization that is designed to empower young girls to be strong-minded, confident, and independent in a world that doesn’t always encourage those qualities in women. GOTR teaches these young girls very valuable life lessons that can be used in all facets of their lives into adulthood, as well as help them understand that they are valued as individuals and to embrace who they are.

What’s the most rewarding thing about being involved? The connection that you form with the girls over time. It makes my heart light up when they’re excited to do a fun activity with me or they want me by their side during their runs. Makes me feel like a “cool” adult because they want to play with me. Life can be stressful. It’s fun to let lose and be a kid with the girls sometimes!

What do you think the girls learn during their time in the program? I think they learn that GOTR is not only fun, but that it is hard work. It’s not easy training for a 5k race. More importantly, they learn that they are more cognitively advanced that they originally thought when they find themselves being able to answer challenging and complex questions that touch on emotions and relationships with others.

A memorable Girls on the Run moment? I had so much fun getting pictures of the girls, videos, and having them take pictures for us to be used on the website. It was a moment that everyone really relaxed, had a lot of fun laughing together as we goofed off and enjoyed being in the present. One girl suggested I do a faux hawk with my pixie cut. I have no style so decided to try her suggestion. I’m now sporting a faux hawk and love it! Thanks Tiba!

Why should other women get involved? It’s an opportunity to contribute to others and the community. It’s a very challenging, rewarding, and fun experience. You learn to lead, set an example, and inspire young girls who may not have a female figure to look up to. It’s truly a privilege to be a part of these young girls’ lives and guide them on their way to becoming strong, thoughtful, and confident young ladies.


Name: Emily Fenger

Hometown: Madison, NJ

Age: 28

Favorite Hobbies: All that is considered health and wellness, going on hikes and exploring this beautiful state with my Husband, being a fitlo ambassador!

Profession: Girls on the Run, Program Manager

Favorite GOTR Energy Award: The banana!

How long have you been involved with Girls on the Run? February 2017

What inspired you to get involved with GOTR Rockies? I started running a few years ago and really concentrating on mind and body wellness and health. I started realizing how that goes far past working out, it’s being in touch with your self and what your soul really needs. I am so happy I can be a positive part in the lives of the girls I coach, being healthy is fun!

What’s the most rewarding thing about being involved? Seeing the girls smile and enjoying themselves, contributing to the group!

What do you think the girls learn during their time in the program? How to be a positive part of society, not only for others but for themselves. We need to love ourselves first before we can love others and really rock our star power!

A memorable Girls on the Run moment? One of the girls on the team drew a flower on her identity card. When I asked her what it meant she said “today I tried my hardest, so I bloomed.” Reminded me of one of my favorite quotes by Elizabeth Appell, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

What’s your favorite day of the season? The first, I was so excited to see what the season had in store for us! It’s only getting better!

Why should other women get involved? You learn so much about yourself, I have learned some of my greatest lessons from these girls. The way they see the world and engage with the curriculum is eye opening, inspiring, and moving.


Name: Sarah Bowman

Hometown: Red Lake Falls, Minnesota

Age: 29

Favorite Hobbies: hiking, traveling and runningStargate_09

Profession: Kindergarten Teacher

Favorite GOTR Energy Award: Dead Bug

How long have you been involved with Girls on the Run? This is my first season! 🙂

 What inspired you to get involved with GOTR Rockies? At first, it was because I shared a passion for running. Then, it became something more. I wanted to inspire and encourage girls to be the best version of themselves.

What’s the most rewarding thing about being involved? The girls are so open and honest in our discussions. We call our team the Stargate Sisters. Their willingness to share so openly has truly inspired me.

What do you think the girls learn during their time in the program? They learn about how to be a good friend, effectively communicate, encourage one another and so much more!

A memorable Girls on the Run moment? I decided to invite whoever was interested to run a mile without stopping. I timed our progress. At the end one of the girls got her personal best mile!

Why should other women get involved? Girls on the Run is so much more than running. It’s empowering girls to be the best version of themselves. It teaches them how to deal with life’s challenges, build strong and supportive friendships, and to keep putting one foot in front of the other.


Name: Jennifer HannaStargate_16

Hometown: Des Moines, Iowa

Age: 45

Favorite Hobbies: running, yoga, travel, and SCUBA diving

Profession: teacher

Favorite GOTR Energy Award: Surfer Girl

How long have you been involved with Girls on the Run? this is my 1st season

What inspired you to get involved with GOTR Rockies? I heard about GOTR many, many years ago when I lived in Charlotte, NC and I was very interested in getting involved. A parent at our school was passionate about GOTR and brought it to Stargate this spring. I couldn’t wait to volunteer as a coach!

What’s the most rewarding thing about being involved? The most rewarding aspect of being involved with GOTR is connecting with the girls outside of the classroom. They are all so unique, fun, genuine, and good-hearted kids; it’s the highlight of my week when we meet.

What do you think the girls learn during their time in the program? The girls have learned great strategies during the program for calming down when they feel strong emotions and building friendships.

Stargate_12A memorable Girls on the Run moment? Running in the snow! The big, fat snowflakes stuck to our eyelashes. It was crazy and beautiful!

What’s your favorite day of the season? I really liked the Star Power Visualization lesson. The girls really connected with the lesson about using visualization to positively impact their thinking, feelings, and behaviors.

Why should other women get involved? I believe that not only do the girls benefit from the program, but the coaches do, too. It has been fun getting to know the girls, seeing them set and reach their goals, and having a great time. I have learned strategies for teaching young girls about self-confidence, connecting with others, and developing positive character traits. It’s so rewarding!


Name: Gwen Murphy

Hometown: Chicago, IL!

Gwen with her 9-year-old daughter Eve (dressed up as Rey from Star Wars) at the Halloween Monster Dash in Louisville, CO (October 2016).

Gwen with her 9-year-old daughter Eve (dressed up as Rey from Star Wars) at the Halloween Monster Dash in Louisville, CO (October 2016).

Age: 43

Favorite Hobbies: Playing with my 3 kids ages 9, 5 and 5; going on road trips; doing Pilates and yoga

Profession: Freelance medical writer (PhD Biochemistry ’03 CU Boulder)

Favorite GOTR Energy Award: our team-invented “heinie dance” award

How long have you been involved with Girls on the Run? This is my first season

What inspired you to get involved with GOTR Rockies? My daughter. Eve is 9 and was inspired to start running by the summer Olympics last year. She and my husband started running, and I wanted to get in on the action!

What’s the most rewarding thing about being involved? Seeing the girls take the mindfulness-based lessons we offer to heart and hear their stories or witness their acts of bravery, kindness or empathy.

COACH SPOTLIGHT: Theresa Grzebinski

Name: Theresa Grzebinski

Hometown: San Antonio, TXStargate_22

Age: 44

Hobbies: spending time with family/friends, playing cards/games, dancing, playing guitar/singing, watching movies, and being outside!

Professional Background: occasionally sub here and there as a School Social Worker and stay at home as a mom

Favorite energy award: The “ooh la la”….or something to that effect:)

How long have you been involved with Girls on the Run: This is my first season

What inspired you to get involved with GOTR Rockies? I’ve heard friends talk about the program ….some have coached with their daughters, and I felt inspired to bring it to our school. And as a social worker, I was definitely connected to the premise of the program…empowering girls! I’ve spent over a decade working with all kinds of kiddos and families, many of which has been a hard, stressful, crisis-responding kind of a job.  I was really excited to work on the positive side of social work, inspiring girls, working on everyday skills, many of which aim to prevent problems vs respond to them.  It’s full of positive energy, feel good moments, and happy happy joy joy experiences that are over-the-moon fulfilling for me!!!

What do you think the girls learn during their time in the program? The girls are learning all kinds of things about friendship, decision-making, problem-solving, and about challenging yourself to work hard, do a little more than you’re comfortable with, push yourself a little farther than you might want to, and really, seeing that they get to decide how they want to ‘show up’ in the world:)