Running Buddy

Running Buddy Position Description

Share a girl’s exhilaration and excitement as she crosses the finish line of her first 5K. For many girls, this is the biggest challenge and greatest accomplishment of their Girls on the Run experience. One of their favorite parts is having their very own Running Buddy by their side!

img_7406 (1024x683)The goal of Girls on the Run is for the girls to do their best and HAVE FUN! Girls are not encouraged to race competitively, but are encouraged to reach their own goals. For most girls, that’s making it to the finish line- whether it is by walking, running or skipping!


What is a Running Buddy? 
A Running Buddy runs, walks, skips or hops with a GOTR girl during two 5K experiences: on-site at the Practice 5K at her program site and at the Girls on the Run 5K  in Magnuson Park. That means keeping pace with the girl, ensuring her safety, and cheering her on!  

What are the requirements?

  1. Must be 16 years or older by Practice 5K.
  2. New and returning Running Buddies are required to read and watch training materials.
  3. New and returning Running Buddies must consent to a background check.
  4. Must attend both 5K events. Each Running Buddy is matched with a specific girl based on walking/running pace. Having the same Running Buddy for both 5Ks contributes to the girls’ overall experience of mentorship and encouragement.
  5. We ask Running Buddies to make a contribution of $25 to Girls on the Run to cover the cost of their background check and Girls on the Run 5K registration (includes a t-shirt!). We can waive this contribution on a case-by-case basis. Please do not hesitate to contact Vivian Syme at with any questions or concerns.

DSC_0054_zps551d8698Can males volunteer as Running Buddies?
Running Buddies must be female, unless they are a parent/guardian, family member, or school staff. We strongly encourage families to participate in the program, and we encourage males to be Running Buddies only if they know the girl prior to Girls on the Run. We believe that girls benefit from having positive male role models in their lives!

How often do Running Buddies volunteer?
Running Buddies only attend one practice – Lesson 17: The Practice 5K. Running Buddies also attend the Girls on the Run 5K at the end of the season. In total, this equals about 6 hours of time over the length of several weeks including potential travel time.

What are some qualities of a Running Buddy?
Running Buddies are fun-loving, patient and supportive, they enjoy spending time with youth and have the ability to run or power walk a 5K. Schedule flexibility is critical for this position. In order to accommodate so many kids in the program, we sometimes need to make some last minute changes!

Do Running Buddies have to run? 
No, Running Buddies do not have to run. Running Buddies may be of all fitness abilities, but they do need to be able to complete a 5K. Running Buddies will be matched as best as possible according to pace.DSC_0087_zps837b78e0

How do I become a Running Buddy? 
Follow these easy steps to become a Running Buddy this season:

  1. Be available for both events: the Practice 5K and the Girls on the Run 5K in Magnuson Park, Seattle.
  2. Register online or by mailing in a paper application.
  3. Read and watch required training materials. They will be emailed directly to you.
  4. Attend the Practice 5K. Meet your Girl Buddy and have fun!
  5. Attend the Girls on the Run 5K. Run, walk or skip with your Girl Buddy!!

I would like to run with a specific girl. How can I make sure that happens?

List your girl’s name when you register. Parents and guardians of GOTR participants will get the opportunity to register as Running Buddies online when they register their daughters for the program. Running Buddy registration will  be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Do I need to register for the GOTR 5K if I’m already registered as a Running Buddy?
No. You are automatically registered for the 5K when you register as a Running Buddy.

Who do I contact if I have questions about Running Buddies?
Contact Vivian Syme, this season’s Running Buddy Coordinator, at or 206-528-2118.

Where & When

Practice 5K 

What: This is your chance to meet your Girl Buddy and to encourage her to go the distance as she runs or walks the distance of a 5K for the first time. You will be meeting on-site at the regularly scheduled Girls on the Run program time.

Date and time: During your program site’s regularly scheduled practice (either Monday May 4th or Tuesday May 5th).

Location: At your girl buddy’s program site.

Check out photos from a Practice 5K a couple of seasons ago!

Girls on the Run 5K

What: This is the graduation race for our spring program participants, and is open to the community. Post-5K celebration includes a festival full of fun for the whole family.

Date and time
: May 16th, 2015

Location: Magnuson Park, Seattle, WA

Check out photos from our Fall 2014 5K!

Be a Running Buddy!

Watch the video: