Here are many of the wonderful ladies that will be volunteering their time at the 2019 Spark Her Stride sessions and the Valley 4th Run 5k! This program is possible because we are in a supportive community, full of strong women, many of whom graciously serve as volunteers for this program. Runners, we hope you know that they are all here because they believe in you and want to help you grow!
Coordinating this program has been a highlight of each of the past 4 summers for me. I get to spend more time with my running friends, get a little sweaty, and meet awesome young ladies and their families. Many of us volunteers didn't grow up running, and we wish we had spent more of our lives enjoying running for fun and for both physical and mental well-being.
I love wearing my big straw hat and running around the Valley 4th Run with all of our Spark Her Stride ladies! I probably end up running 10 miles that day because as soon as one of our runners finishes, I turn around and find the next one to run with!
I have completed almost every VA Momentum run (including 3 Growler team relays with my team "The Sparklemuffins"), two half-marathons, a full marathon, and I've just started dipping my toes into trail running.
I am awkwardly enthusiastic/happy during runs yet still enjoy the thrill of competition and a good challenge. My favorite part of running events is standing at the finish line clapping and cheering for the rest of the runners with my two kids!
This past VA Momentum Turkey Trot is probably my most recent and powerful running moments. I just remember thinking, okay- I’m going to go for speed with this one (keep in mind, “speed” is not my typical motive). With a chill in the air, and my legs ready to work I took off! As I pushed my limits, I found that the best discovery for me that day, was that many of the “limits” I thought were waiting to hold me back- were just barriers I had fabricated in my own mind. My training and my focus broke them and it is still one of the fastest and most rewarding runs that I’ve taken on!
My favorite and most inspiring running quote is by Jesse Owens, “I always loved running... it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.” One of my favorite running songs is : Dum Dee Dum by Keys N Krates – has a great beat and keeps you at pace! Another good one is Jimmy Eat World’s – The Middle; as well as Matchbox Twenty- How Far We’ve Come.
Running provides me with a space to clear my head, feel strong, healthy and at peace. I’ve been running off and on since high school. Running is a friend that I can count on to always be there even if it’s been a while since we’ve actually seen each other- we always pick back up where we left off ☺
Running has been a great source of inspiration, positivity, and fun for me, along with a great bonding experience with friends. I ran my first 5k in my 20’s and caught the bug. I was so nervous the first time, but having friends around to encourage me really helped out. My favorite hobby would be taking my dog out for a run (she runs so fast!), but my hand lettering/calligraphy holds a close second.
Inspirational quote: “Don’t stop until you’re proud”
Favorite running anthem: Martin Garrix - Animals
I run to destress, meditate, re-center, think things out if something is on my mind, stay in shape, and hang with friends at 5k's!
I've been running for about 20 years (since high school track!) though I've never really considered myself a "runner"...more like a "jogger". As a teenager, I began running as something to do with my friends. When I became a mother, it was a way to intentionally carve out time for myself and to rebuild confidence. Now it's all of those things and much more. Staying active is a form of therapy for me. Challenging myself, setting goals, working towards the goals and then accomplishing my goals totally drives me and make me feel like a rockstar! Running is one of the many ways I like to stay active. I love (like really love) hiking. I have a goal to hike every state in the U.S. and so far I've hiked 16 states. I have a long way to go but how exciting to imagine all the adventures and memories awaiting! I mix up my days with activities that get me outside and make me feel strong and happy: bike rides, yoga, hiking, running, TRX, rowing on the river, pilates, group classes, walks around the neighborhood, weight training, friendly fitness challenges with friends, and rainy day workouts in my basement.
I'm so pumped to be a part of Spark Her Stride and looking forward to meeting and sweating alongside the young runners!
I ran on and off in college as a form of exercise, but I really got into running in more recent times after my kids were born. I found running to be a great outlet to help me stay in shape, but also a wonderful way to get outside, let my mind go, and release stress. I feel strong and confident when I run, like I can do anything I put my mind to.
When I turned 35, I decided to run 35 races over the course of one year. It was so much fun to try so many different kinds of races, meet different people, run in different parts of the country. And then a huge feeling of accomplishment when I finished my 35th race. Favorite Quote (related to running): The only way to finish is to start.
I have been a "runner" on and off since college, increasing my running in the last few years, including 2015-2016 where I challenged myself to run 35 races in one year. I love the empowerment and energy running gives me, and I love to share that with others, which is why it's been so awesome to volunteer with this group over the last few years.
I began running when I was in high school for lacrosse. I love the way it feels to be one with the road/path. It has been a great way to empower myself and to release some stress. I haven’t been running distances as much since I started HIIT Training at Harrisonburg Fitzone, but I still love it! I feel strong and confident any time I get my feet moving! More than anything, I love empowering others to join me :)
Hobby: FItzone and Teaching Yoga/Body Pump!
Favorite Running Memory: I just ran my fastest half marathon! Felt Awesome and I couldn’t imagine how much I cut off my time!
My Favorite Playlist: Rock My Run App- Extreme Energy
Favorite Quote: I never lose. I either win, or I learn.
Running is my self-care. Gives me time to feel strong and reflect on the day! I've done a little bit of everything with running (for fun, 5K, 1/2 marathons).
I started running while I was in high school. I joined the cross country team to stay in shape for lacrosse and that's when I fell in love with running. I ran competitively through high school and then found an independent love once I got to college.
Since then, I have continued running for many reasons. Running offers me a place to clear my head. It also allows me to challenge myself while holding myself accountable. I've run too many 5Ks to keep track, two half marathons, and one full marathon.
When I'm not running, I enjoy hiking, being outside, reading, and spending time with family and friends. I love to read as much as I love to run! My running music changes all the time. I listen to lots of pop music when I run. I love old school Justin Bieber! One of the things I repeat to myself often while running is, "My race, my pace." I set the pace for myself and it doesn't matter what other people are doing. It's my race and my pace, and the same goes for everyone else out there.
I can't wait to meet you all and put one foot in front of the other!
I began running to condition for soccer, and became an avid runner in college. My favorite running memory is my first competitive meet with the club cross country team in college, when I took a wrong turn and ended up running an 8k during a 5k race. The laughter and jokes that followed that experience were an awesome introduction into the running community and a new kind of team from previous sports I had participated in. My hobbies (besides running regularly) include hiking/anything outdoors and seeking new wineries to visit along the Virginia Wine Trails.
Favorite running quote: Go as long as you can, and then take another step
Favorite running song: Champion by Carrie Underwood
Running is integral to my self-care; it's my outlet and consistent dedicated time for just me! I also really enjoy getting friends and family involved with running - encouraging them with their own goals and to just have fun with it! Experience wise, I participated on the club cross-country team while I was a student at JMU, and since then I've trained on my own for various races both for fun and for time goals. I run regularly and enjoy participating in several races throughout the year around Virginia. I'm excited to volunteer with this program!
Born and raised in Boston, MA, moved to VA for JMU. “Double Duke” (undergrad and grad). Raising my two daughters in the Burg now! Exercise has ALWAYS been a part of my life and I wouldn’t want it any other way!
Favorite running memory: Completing a team relay Marathon in England with hubbs and close friends
Favorite hobby: Any form of Exercise, outdoors, cooking
Go-to inspirational/motivational quote: We can do hard things - Glennon Doyle
Playlist favorite/running anthem: Lose Yourself - Eminem
I run for good health and good vibes and it's fun (sometimes)
Born and raised in Harrisonburg. I started running in middle school (THMS!) and have been running ever since. One of my favorite things about running is that it allows you to see places (old and new) from a different perspective. My favorite running memory is doing the Big Sur marathon along the Pacific coast in California - it was the most beautiful running experience I’ve ever had!
My favorite hobby these days is gardening with my dog, Blue. My go to motivational quote, for running and for life, is: “Ask yourself if what you’re doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.” My favorite song to listen to (on repeat) while running is “Fight For This Love” by Cheryl.
Me and running go way back! I started running in middle school and have had a varied relationship with it ever since (I've run slow, I've run fast, I've run marathons, I've had times that I don't run at all (oopsies), etc!) I loved SHS last summer and am looking forward to it this year. :)
I didn’t truly begin running until 2016. I wanted the health benefits as a mother of two, but really was drawn to the social aspect running groups seemed to offer. I ran my first 5k the spring of 2016 alongside one of my best friends and my two kiddos. After that race- I was exhausted, but equally hooked. That very same year, I challenged myself to sign-up, work toward and run The Richmond Half Marathon that November...and it was one of my proudest accomplishments.
My favorite quote, which is actually a bible verse is, ‘Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us..’ Hebrews 12:1.
I love volunteering, photography, horseback riding, hanging seaside and spending time with those I love most.
I run for Mental Health, Physical Health, Fun Events, Meeting New People
I’ve been running for over 30 years. I love the feeling of setting my pace, establishing a rhythm and clearing my head. I’m a slow runner so that allows me to take in my surroundings. My favorite memory: running my first 5k in Dallas Texas, a Susan G. Komen women only race, with 3,000 women.
Favorite quote: Don’t let you mind talk your body into quitting.
Favorite playlist: Traditional Gospel
Favorite song: MC Hammer’s version of Do Not Pass Me By
I run for exercise, stress release, but mostly for fun.
I was almost 30 when I started running--and then only because I wanted to complete a triathlon. I never thought running would turn into something regular for me! While my regularity and intensity has varied, it has been a constant ever since. There is always a new challenge with running, whether it’s a new distance, a new PR, or a new route. Over the years, my relationship with running has evolved, as any good relationship does.
My favorite running memory is completing my first (and only!) marathon. While I have no desire to do that to my body again, the feeling of crossing that finish line was indescribable!
I run for fitness and as a goal. I've been running for over 10 years and have done distances from 5K to full marathon. But don't get the wrong idea--I am not fast, especially these days!