Coach Spotlight - Patty Blanchard

By Carley Fuller on 2/8/2017


Why did you become involved with Girls on the Run?

In 2013, I signed up for a run in Houma.  I had no idea I was about to be bombarded by the colorful excited energy from all of the girls of GOTR in Houma/Thibodaux! I knew from that moment that we had to try to get GOTR at Lake Harbor! My principal is a runner as well, and she loved the idea.  The next year, a student came to our school from Missouri, and her mom had been a GOTR coach there, so that was the push we needed to get a team together!

What do you love most about Girls on the Run?

I love watching girls morph into strong young women over the course of the season.
Some girls are timid and not very good at making friends, and they truly blossom and become social in the group.

The 5K celebration at the end highlights these girls and their accomplishments, and I love watching some of them jam out to Zumba and dance their way to the finish line! In addition to all of this, I am always amazed at how much I learn about myself and about dealing with issues in my life through the GOTR lessons.
I am empowered through coaching!

What would you tell your 8-year-old self?

OH GOSH!  I was the most "scared of my shadow" little 8 year old. I loved school, but was scared to share ideas and thoughts, as I was afraid to not be liked. MAN!  I wish someone had told me to just love who I was, and to cherish everyday of my childhood and just be myself. And to not be afraid of who I was... to embrace that I didn't have the expensive shoes or clothes, but that my heart was what people would remember.

You just completed your first marathon! How did it feel crossing the finish line? What did you learn through training?

Crossing the start line at about 7:50 Sunday morning, I choked up a bit.  It was crazy to think, "Here we go! Ready or not!" And then, when that finish line came into view, I just started crying!  The finish line, the people handing out medals.. a blur of tears. I was so so proud of myself, so proud of my daughter.. that we pushed each other and got to the finish line, almost exactly 5 years to the day of our first 5K together. 

Most of our training consisted of runs that we had completed already... 8 miles, 10 miles, a half marathon... then we did a 12 mile and a 17 mile.  That 17 mile was super hard.. I hit a wall at about 12 miles and had to drag myself those last 5 miles. I researched and realized I needed to seriously carb load before the marathon, which I did.  I ate rice every meal of the day, plus pasta, bread, etc.  I drank water like crazy. And I felt better at mile 21 than I did in the 17 mile run.

Just don't give up on your dream, if running a marathon is something you think you might want to try. Every step is closer to your goal.  A sign I saw on Sunday said, 'Forward is a Pace".  No matter how slow.. just keep moving.

Anything else you want to share?

The fact that the girls come up to me in the halls, after school, in the community after coaching them show that a bond has been made, and their smiles and hugs are worth the world to me.  Some girls were new to our school and were able to find a common ground to meet new friends and to get involved at a new place, and some girls were just in a new class and needed to branch out.  It is a great experience, and I hope that anyone with time to give to Girls on the Run considers it.  GOTR is super supportive and appreciative to all coaches, and the manual and supplies makes it easy and enjoyable.  Thanks, GOTR, for giving me an outlet at school to spread the love of running and girl power!



Girls on the Run South Louisiana
3185 Balis Drive
Unit 104
Baton Rouge, LA 70808

(225) 636-0800