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Amy Walsh is running so ‘more girls can experience this confidence-building program’

"I wanted to lead by the example."

Amy Walsh wants to support young girls by running the marathon and raising money for Girls on the Run Greater Boston, where she was previously a coach.

In our “Why I’m Running” series, Boston Marathon runners share what’s inspiring them to make the 26.2-mile trek from Hopkinton to Boston. If you’re running the marathon, you can share your #WhyImRunningBoston story here.

Name: Amy Walsh
Age: 39
From: Medfield

Back in March of 2020, I started working for Girls on the Run (GOTR) Greater Boston, an organization that inspires girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident. I could never have imagined how important these skills would be over the next year as the pandemic removed connections and stability from many of our lives, including young girls.

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After coaching the program, I learned more about the important skills these girls ages eight to 13 are learning. The GOTR program encourages the positive benefits of running while at the same time addressing harmful habits like negative self-talk and poor self-esteem. These are skills that are so important for girls this age to learn, since as early as age nine, girls’ self-confidence begins to decline, and half of girls age 10 to 13 experience bullying such as name-calling and exclusion.

I wanted to lead by the example of the GOTR program. What better way to show my support to the program than raising funds and running the Boston Marathon? Throughout my Boston Marathon training, I have actually used techniques that I learned while coaching girls on the Run, like positive self-talk (especially during long runs when I’ve been tempted to quit!) And calming my mind with meditation.

Running the Boston Marathon for GOTR Greater Boston gives me the motivation to achieve my goals. I am running to raise money so that more girls can experience this confidence-building program. No girl is ever denied access to GOTR because of a family’s inability to pay for the program. This is possible through fundraising like the Boston Marathon, and I am so proud to be running for the strong girls of tomorrow!

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Editor’s note: Entry may have been lightly edited for clarity or grammar.

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