Please meet Dr. Chris!

Please meet Dr. Chris!


Dr Chris, a pediatrician in Sparta, joined our GOTR team early in its inception.  Working with young kids every day he saw an immense need for the opportunity to get girls involved in the positivity and growth GOTR delivers.  He sees the benefits daily in the girls who return to his office stronger, more confident, happy “runners”.  Dr. Chris was recently in Washington DC meeting with our local congressional representatives urging them to support pediatric health care and become involved with our local GOTR chapter.  His goal is to have every young girl in our area have an opportunity to get her life touched by GOTR and will continue to work to spread GOTR’s message.  He has two daughters who have completed the program, a wife who is a GOTR coach and a son who has run every GOTR 5 K!

Thank you for all that you do!

Meet Junior Coach, Mackenzie!

Meet Junior Coach, Mackenzie!

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Girls on the Run has not failed to amaze me with each season and race that goes by; after coaching for 5 seasons it just seems to get better and better each time! Getting to know the girls through discussions, games, and running is easy and fun.Seeing the girls finish the race with their running buddy is the best part of the whole season because it is the final sign that they achieved the goal that they had been working so hard for all season. I love being involved in such a great organization because the purpose is powerful and the high energy from everyone in the program makes each minute well worth it! Being a Junior Coach is very fulfilling because I get to have fun along with the girls and learn more myself about growing up to becoming an adult. I also get the opportunity to exercise and volunteer at the same time, which is pretty lucky if you ask me!  Girls on the Run has helped me mature as a young woman and taught me different ways to interact with others. I really enjoy running and talking with all of the girls because it is fun but also rewarding to know I am helping girls that are going through issues I once had to deal with myself. While I try to make my attendance at Girls on the Run practices one of my top priorities I am very busy during the week, but that is how I like my schedule! Outside of school I have a job at daycare and I also tutor and babysit regularly. Although I don’t usually have a lot of extra time in my schedule when I do have some free time I enjoy spending time with friends and family. I also try to run with my dog as often as possible to get in a little extra exercise to add to my busy routine. Staying active and being positive is important to me and I hope to spread my enthusiasm to each girl I coach!

Meet Katie, our Community Service Coordinator!

Meet Katie, our Community Service Coordinator!

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I first became involved with GOTR the first season. I heard the rumblings of this program and thought that sounds amazing and how do I get my daughter involved in it. So my older daughter was registered that first spring season in 2012. I have to say it was such an overwhelming experience and so memorable. Watching a then 8 year old little girl cross the finish line is something that I will never forget the rest of my life. From that point on I continued to take any opportunity to volunteer for this amazing organization, if it was stuffing bags, handing out race bibs anything I was willing to do it. Then I was approached to assist in a different way, they were looking for someone to manage and help with the community impact projects that the teams conduct during their seasons. I was initially hesitant as I often volunteer for to many things.  But I figured I can manage; after all I am just a grownup GOTR and I too have limitless potential. So I took that opportunity and here I am willing to help any team and have created resources and other materials for the teams to utilize to make the community impact project completely beneficial for the all the teams.

I am a mother of three wonderful and energetic children, who love to be moving playing sports, riding bikes etc. Married to an amazing man who supports all the things that I volunteer for, and is also always there for our children and their activities.   In addition I work full time, I also volunteer and coach soccer and teach religious education on Sunday morning. WHEW I am tired. I wouldn’t change a thing. I love Girls on The Run it is so much FUN!!!!!!!!!!!


If I touch two people, those two people touch two more people, before you know it; we have a whole bunch of people that are affected.  One person, can impact many…

Meet Susie Sunshine!

Meet Susie Sunshine!

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I first got involved with GOTR through a good friend who was going to one of the first informational meetings. I loved the idea of helping young girls better themselves. Unfortunately my work schedule does not allow me to be a GOTR coach but I have been able to stay involved by volunteering at the Spring 5k. I was given the job of “the megaphone” guiding the runners to the finish line. I love this job because I get to see all the runners doing what they can to keep themselves going. Typically as soon as I tell them they are almost done they all smile and give the run one last push!  I love this job and I look forward to it each year!
In my free time I love to be outside. I love to run with my dog and I love to garden!  I even don’t mind shoveling snow. :)
Being a gymnastics coach I get to work with kids from 1 1/2 yrs to 18 years old. I love watching the changes in the kids as they grow and I love teaching them my favorite sport, gymnastics.  I am most passionate about making people feel good about themselves and keeping a positive spin on everything, hence the nickname “Susie Sunshine”.

Meet Sarah!

Meet Sarah!

I first learned about Girls on the Run through my husband’s high school friend Melissa Fagersten who, along with two other amazing ladies, was in the process of bringing the program to Sparta. As she described the program her passion for Girls on the Run was contagious, I instantly wanted to become involved.  As an avid runner I have picked up confidence and really grown personal through the sport and I love the idea of introducing running as a way to help girls grow into strong, confident young women with respect for themselves and others.

My first Girls on the Run 5K is a day I won’t forget. I was responsible for the water station along the course. I was provided a fun group of really enthusiastic volunteers who handed out water while cheering and screaming for every runner throughout the event.  As the girls raced by I was struck by the looks of dedication, hard work, sheer joy, and most of all pride on their faces. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like it. Watching them interact with their running partners, cheer on and encourage the other girls was really inspirational. After that first race I knew Girls on the Run was something I wanted to get more involved in.

I was given the opportunity to volunteer on the course at the Fall 5K that following November. The fall event is only open to the program girls and their running partners, for this reason it has a much more personal feel. The bonds the girls had formed with each other and the coaches were even more evident. Girls that had finished the race were running back to support their team mates, coaches cheering for their girls from the finish line, placing medals around the girl’s necks with big hugs as they finished their race. I was again inspired and asked Melissa, Vikki and Deb to give me more to do. They asked me to become the Volunteer Coordinator for the following spring event, and I jumped at the opportunity. I attended monthly meetings, recruited and organized all volunteer positions. I enjoyed communicating with the volunteers, all of which were excited for the upcoming event and even made suggestions such as creating cheer signs ahead of time to make the day even better for the GOTR girls. I sadly had to miss the Spring 5K but getting involved with the inner workings of event preparations knowing what the day itself would be like was a lot of fun.

I am currently working the race committee gearing up for the 3rd Annual Girls on the Run Spring 5K and Lake Mohawk Challenge. The program is growing and we are expanding to communities around North Jersey, including my hometown of Vernon which I am very excited about!

It’s amazing to see what the small program that started in Sparta 3 short years ago has become, I am proud to say I have been a very small part of its great success. I am thankful for the opportunities Girls on the Run has provided me; to become involved in my new community, to give back in a way I truly connect with and I feel makes a huge impact, as well  to meet so many inspiring people. I suspect I have received much more from this program than I have put into it.

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Please meet  our Volunteer Amy!

Please meet our Volunteer Amy!



I first heard about Girls on the Run during the spring of 2012, which is when I ran the 5k with my sister, Beth and daughter, Maura, who was in a carriage at the time.  The commitment and dedication of the Girls on the Run staff, to the trainers, teachers, the girls families, to the look of happiness in all the girls faces when they crossed the finish line was AMAZING. It was then I wanted to do more.  So I reached out to Vikki Szabo and asked to volunteer. I completed the application and that fall  began volunteering. Continuing to  volunteer and now running the 5k with my husband, children and sister during the spring, and hearing all the families cheer these girls on is truly INSPIRING.  As a volunteer, a mother and a community member, we all have our own journey in life.  Not knowing each girl, or their story or challenges, I am able to see how committed each one of them is to fill  this journey in their life and to build their own self esteem and surround others with positive words of encouragement, as well as themselves and truly believing in themselves.

Coach of the Year

Coach of the Year Award – Spring nominations due June 15th
GOTR coaches are one of the BIG reasons why Girls on the Run is so much fun! Girls can express why they believe their coach deserves to win the annual Coach of the Year Award through writing, coloring, drawing, painting, bedazzling… you name it! Please email the nomination form to your parents and coaches to give to your fall program participants. All entries must be postmarked June 15th.

  • The Coach will receive $1,000 and a trip to the January 2015 Girls on the Run Summit!
  • The council will receive $500!
  • The participant whose nomination was selected will receive $100!
RUNNER UP PRIZES (two selected):

  • The Coaches will receive $250
  • The councils will receive $250
  • The participants whose nominations were selected will receive a Girls on the Run fun bag!
Spring 2014 nominations will be combined with those collected in the fall 2013.
Nominations forms can be found here: Coach of the Year

Too Smart to Start

On April 1, 2014 at 7:00 PM at the Helen Morgan School, the Sparta Municipal Alliance Coalition is sponsoring, in conjunction with Girls on the Run, The Center for Prevention and Counseling, The Coalition for Healthy & Safe Communities, and the Helen Morgan PTO, an interactive presentation titled Too Smart to Start, which deals with alcohol and underage drinking. The program is presented as an interactive game show for both students and parents.

As your children move on to the Middle School they will be exposed to new experiences, choices, and social environments. As the saying goes, knowledge is power, and although we may think our children are immune to peer pressure, alcohol use, or bad choices why not spend an hour with them to learn about the myths and facts of such an important topic. We welcome all to attend!

Charity Miles

We are excited to announce that Girls on the Run is now a partner with Charity Miles!   Charity Miles partners with national non-profit organizations to help stakeholders easily support their causes.   Charity Miles is a running app for iPhones and Androids that empowers users to earn money for charity while running, biking or walking.  Click here to go to their webpage and watch the video.
While Charity Miles only aligns with national organizations, one great feature of the Charity Miles app is that it allows users to be tracked by zip code.  Therefore, at the end of each challenge term with Charity Miles, Girls on the Run International will receive a report of activity by zip codes which we will share with local councils. The current challenge term will end in July 2014, after this Charity Miles will evaluate if they will switch to quarterly challenge terms. Each council will receive 50% of what is raised in their region.  Be sure to spread the word about Charity Miles to your networks so that they can increase the impact to your council!
Using the app is easy!  Download the app, register, choose Girls on the Run as your favorite charity, and press start. Charity Miles will be a great way to engage coaches, parents and runners in your local community to support Girls on the Run!    Runners and walkers earn $.25 per mile and bikers earn $.10 per mile.  At the end of the challenge term, Charity Miles donates money to the causes based on what each has earned.  There is a cap and if the cap is reached the donations are prorated among charities accordingly.
So what do you need to do?  Promote the app to your coaches, volunteers, and supporters.  This is not intended for our participants.  Please help us get the word out by using the language above.  Post on Facebook, send emails and help us raise awareness.  The most successful organization with the app to date is the Wounded Warrior Project and this is because they were able to successfully engage their supporters!
We are so excited to activate our running community in a new way! Together we can all run, walk or ride for GOTR!

Running buddy info

Dear GOTR family,

Well, we have our first week under our belt!  A HUGE thanks to you for all of your efforts helping us make our first week a success.  The girls are getting to know each other, their coaches and most importantly…themselves.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for sharing your daughter with us.  Over the next few weeks you will see her grow in confidence AND competence.  Please ask her to share  her experiences with you, and expand on the lessons she has learned, at home. Sometimes our greatest teachers can be our youngest generation.

When you registered your daughter, you were prompted to answer a question regarding running buddies. Below you will find the role of the running buddy outlined;

Every girl needs a running buddy for the end of the season celebration. The Running Buddy acts as a personal cheerleader for their buddy, making sure she steps up to the start line feeling confident. You do NOT need to be a runner, you do NOT need to be fast.  The most important role of the running buddy is to allow the girl to find her happy pace, and encourage her to keep moving forward.  If this will be your first 5k, you will find a training plan in the back of the parent guide to help you along.  If you are not able to fill that role, teachers, neighbors and family friends can also make great buddies.  If you have indicated at registration that your daughter will need a buddy, we will be contacting you.  If you need us to assign a buddy for your daughter, we will conduct a background check on them and connect you with the buddy on the day of the 5k.

Should you have any questions, please reach out to us.

Registration can be done online at or you can do a paper mail in registration.  That form can be found on our website at

We look forward to learning more about your daughter and watching her blossom throughout the season.  Think warmer weather!!!