SunValley Solemates at the Teton Village finish. Standing, from left, Nicole St. Germain, Missy Klopcic, Kamie Hobbs Berkey, Sara Burns, Analia Passey, Mary Fauth and Susie Lambert, and, kneeling from left, Loni Unser, Ceisha Judd, Mariah Stout, Shari Kunz and Janel Passey.
For three straight years, Girls on the Run of the Wood River Valley has been represented at the 173-mile, 24-hour Grand Teton Relay in eastern Idaho and Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Once again, 12 local women used the power of their race efforts to help make a difference in the lives of young girls.
They called themselves the “Sun Valley Solemates,” and on Aug. 15-16 this year’s Solemates squad ran in the bear country of Island Park.
They ran the long dark sections of “Rails to Trails near Tetonia, up and down Grand Targhee ski hill road, in the farmlands surrounding Victor and Driggs on the eastern slope of the Teton Mountains.
Finally, they ran the 8% maximum grade up-and-over the 8,432-foot Teton Pass 10 miles east of Victor on S.H. 33 to finish in the Teton Village base mountain area near Jackson Hole.
Through sweat and tears, the 12 women raised nearly $3,000 to help the Girls on the Run program. It allows Girls on the Run to grant full scholarships for 25 girls in the fall program, according to GOTR executive director Mary Fauth of Hailey.
Finishing 59th out of 103 teams were Solemates Nicole St. Germain, Missy Klopcic, Kamie Hobbs Berkey, Sara Burns, Analia Passey, Mary Fauth, Susie Lambert, Loni Unser, Ceisha Judd, Mariah Stout, Shari Kunz and Janel Passey.
Their finishing time was 30 hours and 24 minutes, coming to the finish at 2:24 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16. The winning Mosquito Flats team from Belt, Montana finished in 21 hours, 58 minutes. Second place went to Team Tough of Nails from Rigby, 23:06.
Recently graduated Wood River High senior and cross country/track distance runner Mariah Stout joined the Sun Valley Solemates team for the relay this year.
She said, “Girls on the Run is very special to me as is running itself! I participated in the program when I was younger and had a blast, so this past fall I decided to coach for the program as my senior project.
“I feel Girls on the Run provides girls with a much-needed emotional education in discussing topics, such as bullying and gratitude, which are not touched on in school. It also provides endorphins and confidence through the integration of running.”
Analia Passey competed with the Solemates along with her daughter Janel Passey, cross country running district champion for Wood River High while a senior last fall.
Said Analia, “While growing up in Argentina I didn’t have the opportunity to participate in programs like Girls on the Run. It’s an amazing way to help young girls to be strong and believe in themselves.”
For details about using the power of an upcoming fall race goal to make a difference in the lives of youth, visit girlsontherunwrv.org/solemates or contact Fauth at email@example.com.