The Girls Gone Gazelle running club members were out training together on a sunny Monday evening this week. The members include, from left: (front) Charlie MacNeil, Kate Calder, Robyn MacDonald, Laura Beaton, Jane Cameron, Elly Lacourse, Laina Shanks, Annie MacDonald, Natalie Sargent, Maria Hawley, Charlotte Delorey, Lily MacEachern, Mary Hanley, Kate Poirier; (middle) Hailey MacEachern, Emma MacPhail, Ally Poirier, Julia MacLellan, Madelyn Hawley, Jesse Beaton, Avery Campbell, Maggie MacDonald, Hannah McDaniel, Rhya MacLean, Paige Ryan, Taylor Poirier, Clara MacDonald, Tess MacDonald, Sadie MacDonald; (back) coach Dayna MacDonald, coach Glenna Calder, Logan MacKinnon, Penny MacDonald, Lucy Gillis, Maddison MacEachern, Belle MacLean, Jadea MacLean, Violet MacDonald, Isla Gillies, Kathryn MacKinnon, Tess MacKinnon, Mollie MacDonald, Annabelle MacDonald. Missing from the photo are: Isabel Calder, Carly McDaniel, Danika Burke, Tess MacEachern, Maeve Beaton.
May 11, 2022
-by Bill Dunphy
Not even the COVID-19 pandemic could catch the Girls Gone Gazelle.
Started in June of 2019 by running enthusiast Dayna MacDonald of Long Point, the running club for girls between the ages of six and 13 has been kept going through virtual training and running assignments online.
However, those days are hopefully behind them as the girls are finally training and running together in person.
“We started training together as a group two weeks ago,” said MacDonald.
There are currently 49 girls in the club and they meet on Mondays at 5:30 p.m. at Bayview Education Centre in Port Hood and Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. at the JRA grounds in Judique.
MacDonald said she got the idea for the Gazelles at a Sole Sisters event in Halifax in 2019. Sole Sisters, founded by Stacy Chestnutt, is a running club for women.
“That’s when I got the idea for the Gazelles. Hook, line, and sinker, I want to do this.”
MacDonald got permission from Chestnutt and then teamed up with fellow coach Glenna Calder and the group began training on their own, checking in regularly to their Facebook group. The younger girls, training with a parent or sibling, were working towards a 2k run while the older group trained to run a 5k distance.
The girls in the group are mainly from communities along Route 19, including Inverness, Mabou, Port Hood, and Judique.
“This has been a long time coming for me to get together in person with these girls,” said MacDonald. “It’s pretty emotional to finally see this happening. Working together and running together, building strong, confident young women.”
The final race and awards ceremony is scheduled for June 12 at a location yet to be determined.
While nothing is finalized, MacDonald said they will get another group running in the fall.
Share this article
Join the conversation