Kate Haffey counts running as one of her life’s passions. Her running resume is a full one, but included only half marathons and lesser distances. The obvious progression loomed large. More and more her friends were asking, “When are you going to run a marathon?”
As a lifetime runner, Kate’s running experience stretched from her childhood in northern Virginia, to being a graduate student in Nashville, to living in Charlotte the last six years. She began thinking the time might be right to take the plunge into a marathon.
Last year was the turning point. The 33 year-old HR professional cautiously decided to sign up for the 2016 Charlotte Marathon (formerly Thunder Road), and quickly realized the magnitude of the undertaking. She joined a training group.
Halfway through training, which was going well, she realized that running this race was feasible for her. Why not share the experience and make it a charity run?
Since 2011, Girls on the Run program had been a big part of Kate’s life, volunteering with both the Nashville and Charlotte chapters. She had previously served as a coach, a volunteer for the girls’ 5Ks, with coaches training and on the Advisory Board. The decision was easy. Now she would become a first time SoleMate.
SoleMates is a program that allows runners, and anyone else who is participating in an athletic event or competition, to raise funds for the Girls on the Run program. SoleMates train and run for all distances, and other fitness events such as triathlons, swimming, biking and more.
“Incorporating fundraising with the training and running of this race seemed like a good progression for me,” Kate said. “They made it so easy to set up through the GOTR Giving Platform. My family and friends knew of my commitment to GOTR and were happy to support me.”
Being a SoleMate provided Kate with extra incentive to continue her arduous training program and follow through with all 26.2 miles of the race. “Sports have always been a great confidence builder for me, and I wanted to share the many benefits I have experienced with the girls in the program.”
“It was super easy to work with Girls on the Run and learn how to get it all done. I created my own fundraising webpage on their website and put out the word to my family and friends.”
Not only did Kate finish her first marathon, but she almost doubled her original goal of $1,300. The funds go a long way. Five hundred dollars provides scholarships for three girls to join the GOTR program for one 10-week session.
“I believe in SoleMates, and the benefits Girls on the Run provides for so many,” Kate said. “If you could just see the positive emotion on the faces of the girls as they cross the finish line of what may be their first running event. It is very rewarding.”
Get involved! The Girls on the Run Charlotte SoleMates program provides women and men of all ages and athletic abilities the opportunity to raise funds, to benefit local girls who receive financial aid in order to participate in the Girls on the Run 10-week program, while training for the athletic event of their choice.