Over the past few years, this organization has really held a special place in my heart. Obviously, this is a 5K that I always enjoy putting on my calendar each year. It is time to lace up and head down to Georgia Tech for the Atlanta Spring Girls on the Run 5K.
We were off and on our way for a 3.1 mile tour of Georgia Tech. About .25 mile in, I had a truly impactful moment happen. As I was running, a young lady came up along side me and asked me to be her running buddy. I was quite taken back to be honest. In the past few years I have given high-fives, cheered along runners, and shared smiles along the way, but I didn't ever expect to be asked to be one of the girls' running buddy. Of course I said yes and we were on our way.
As we were running I learned a lot about my new buddy. Katie is an 8-year old girl who loves a variety of sports (especially softball) as well as singing. She is new to running this year and was introduced to running through the Girls on the Run program at her school. Unfortunately, there was miscommunication with Katie's coach and she was the only one from her school group to get registered for today's 5K. Yep, she was on her own - toeing a start line can be intimidating enough at times let alone when you are 8 years old and alone.
Katie crushed her first mile. Since I am very familiar with this course, I knew what was ahead of us. I asked Katie if she had any personal goals today and her response was "I just run to have FUN!" Excuse me!?!? Can we say "Funner Runner in training"!?! It was at this moment that I knew that it was destiny for Katie to find me on the course. To make things even more amazing - just as we came up to mile 2, they had PowerIce freeze pops to help cool everyone down a bit. I asked Katie if she wanted one and her response to me was "of course, snacks is my middle name"! Say whaaat!?! She runs to have fun and is a lover of snacks. This is running buddy bond perfection!
Katie and I finished strong and crossed the finish line together with smiles on our faces. Her parents found us just as we made our way through the finisher chute. The generosity of her mother for me running with Katie was amazing. She even said that she was surprised how quickly Katie ran today. Katie proceeded to gush with about the fun we had and how she couldn't wait to run another 5K. Seriously, this absolutely made my day!
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