Episode 35 – Can you run like a girl?

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LILA shares her love for Girls on the Run [01:12]

LILA is not easily brought to tears. She tells the story of how a special little girl at a Girls on the Run event did just that. Listen and try not to cry too.

Conversation with Brooke Kuhn, Executive Director, Girls on the Run of the Bay Area [08:00]

This week, LILA interviews Brooke from the Bay Area Girls on the Run (GOTR), an organization about more than just running for exercise. Brooke shares their mission is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident. The GOTR organization has created a unique program for young girls that not only prepares them to run a 5K, but also teaches them life skills such as teamwork and goal setting.GOTR Hands

Brooke explains their belief that girls need to be healthy if they are going to be leaders. Statistics show that girls are less likely to be physically active than boys and that they struggle with a variety of issues such as low self-esteem and confidence. GOTR teaches them how to deal with these issues in a healthy, effective way.

Family and community involvement [12:37]

The highlight at the end of the GOTR program is running in a non-competitive 5K race. Brooke explains that they want to create an atmosphere of encouragement and excitement for the girls. Therefore, the girls’ families are encouraged to run with them. Members of the community serve as adult mentors, Running Buddies, who help guide and cheer on the girls. It truly is an awesome experience to be a part of. (Come see LILA don a tu-tu to MC the event!)

The impact of Girls on the Run [15:10]

GOTR is impacting lives for the better. One survey showed that 98% of parents felt that this program had improved their daughters’ confidence. Brooke is committed to this organization and feels that the 8-12 year old age range is ideal for planting these lessons as seeds in their lives, thereby having a lifelong impact.

Girls on the Run after age 13 [20:43]

LILA is curious as to what happens when a girl turns 13 and ages out of the program. Brooke says they have created an Alumni Leadership Board for this group of girls. These young ladies now have the opportunity to grow their leadership skills by going back  and serving as assistant coaches. In essence, GOTR is training future coaches and Running Buddies.

How to get involved as a volunteer [22:30]

P1000932Every year, GOTR Bay Area relies on their network of more than 1,000 volunteers. Brooke says they always need Running Buddies, so click here to volunteer however you can. They also rely on race sponsors as well as donations to help with financial assistance to girls. Please check out the links below to learn more about how you can be involved.

Fun questions for Brooke [28:07]

Favorite food: Fresh, homemade mozzarella

Favorite technology: Confluence, a system for organizing your work

Next episode: LILA talks with Amy Ziff of MadeSafe about reducing toxins in your life.

Significant Quotes


“If they can run a 5K they can do just about anything that they set their minds to.” [10:57]

“We really need girls to be healthy if they are going to be leaders. Statistics show that girls are much less likely to be active than boys.” [11:47]

“GOTR International got started 20 years ago in NC. Today around the U.S. and Canada there are 225 chapters.” [26:57]


“The 8-12 year old range, for girls especially, is where they start saying things like ‘doing sports isn’t feminine.’” [18:32]

“Clearly, I’m a raving maniac and I think GOTR is amaze-balls.” [22:23]

“I see so much of myself in these little girls. It brings me joy to participate.” [29:46]


Girls on the Run – Bay Area

Confluence by Atlassian

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