I was on a hike with my friend, Isabel, in 2009. We were brainstorming a solution to one of the biggest problems women runners face. They don’t know how to get started. Over the course of a 90-minute hike, we crafted the outline of what would become one of the most powerful, life-changing programs for hundreds of women in Colorado and beyond. We called it Kick Start.

The objective: To eliminate the barriers women face in their quests to become runners. We considered our resources and created an all-inclusive program, based around a flexible schedule. This flexibility actually allows women to fold the necessary components into their already busy lives, eliminating one barrier right off the bat – very strict, unrealistic training schedules.

In order to pull this off, we needed to bring in some ringers. We did not want to be a coaching service, but more of a barrier-removal service that provides support in a number of ways. The most important support we provide comes in the form of Personal Motivators. These are essentially running mentors; women who have been in their shoes, women who were once beginners themselves, who want to pay it forward and gift other women the courage, confidence, strength and power they have found through running.

Once the motivation is lined up, we work with resource providers to give our beginners running shoes, athletic clothing, medical screenings, a training plan, free entry into her first 5k, and more. Barriers removed. Women are now free to discover the beauty that running can bring to their lives.

In 2016, we gave this amazing program a new name. Running Start is now an official non-profit with the potential to grow at its own pace and help even more women all over the country. For more info, visit our official Facebook page and be sure to follow Running Start.