Girls on the (Trail) Run - Page 2
Camp participant Naomi Jaime, age 7. Photo by Kevin Kelly.
Another mentor, 40-year old Shirley Thomas, says that she offered to volunteer, not just to help out Boom, but also to set a positive example for the girls. “I have a love for running that started later in life. I’m hoping to see the girls develop that same love for running while they’re young.”
The main goal of the program, besides impressing upon the girls a love of running, was showing them the rewards of committing to something and following through. Boom has two daughters of her own, 6 and 8 years old, and she wants them to experience the satisfaction of setting and achieving goals.
Samantha Fugate, the oldest girl in the group, is a junior in high school with a 4.0 GPA. She has competed in triathlons, half-marathons and, most recently, a full marathon—and joined the group with a desire to help mentor younger girls. “I hope that the young girls can realize how much running can do for them,” she says, “whether it be for stress relief, staying in shape or even just having fun. I have made many friends through running.”
Despite their varied ages, the girls ran together, but at their own pace and ability. Having the mothers and mentors out on the trail made it easier to keep the girls all accounted for and safe. For the older girls, who wanted more of a challenge, the trails offered a lot of diversity.
“[Trail running] is horrible and hard in the best possible way,” says Andrea Michaels, 13. “And, if I had to choose a negative, it would be that we did not run long enough!"