Colleen Johnson paired up with Girls on the Run

26 July 2018

Colleen Johnson, a CREW Utah member and a senior vice president with Phillips Edison & Company, spent a recent Saturday morning keeping up with a second grader.

Johnson volunteered at the CREW Utah booth for Girls on the Run, a charity race for grade-school girls. Shortly before the race started, she was paired with an energetic runner with “Girl Power” painted on her forehead – Ally, a first-time racer and enthusiastic sprinter.

“Just imagine a little second grader, sprinting, exhausted, then walking, then getting some water and pouring it over her head,” Johnson said. “She was so concerned – did I smear my face paint, how are my ribbons? It was so cute.”

Girls on the Run pairs young runners with a training partner, and the two typically complete a few training runs together before the race. On race day, runners picked up decorations and prizes from sponsor booths before completing two laps around Sugarhouse Park.

This year, CREW Utah’s philanthropy committee handed out hair ribbons and fill-in-the-blank temporary tattoos. The CREW members helped runners apply and complete the tattoos: “I run for _____,” “My hero is _____,” and “I’m strong because _____.”

Johnson urged Ally to the finish line, buoyed by the other participants.

“You’re making a turn on the corner and can see hundreds of pink shirts in front of you, and hundreds of pink shirts behind you. It was moving to see all those people out there,” Johnson said. “I would encourage people to continue to volunteer, to get out there and make a difference. We volunteer to help others, but in the end we are the ones who are more enriched by it.”

Girls on the Run is CREW Utah’s charity partner for Women Run the City on Sept. 22. To register for or sponsor Women Run the City, visit https://www.crewutah.org/wrtc.

Want to highlight yourself or another CREW Utah member in action? Email Kersten Swinyard or Kelly Carter to be featured.