WHAT IS FAST AND FEMALE? Fast and Female is a Canadian charity on a mission…
It is always exciting to learn about just how far the Fast and Female network reaches! When Kristen Parker, creator and host of the Women Run Canada podcast reached out to our team about hosting a 3rd party fundraiser, we loved her idea. When she explained that she was introduced to us through REAL (Relatable, Empowered, Active Leaders) Role Model Dr Sasha Gollish, we were thrilled!
Read our Q&A with Kristen, where she explains the podcast’s mission, how small communities can make huge impacts, the inspiration behind her ‘Marathon Shero’ tshirts, and how you can help Fast and Female by getting your hands on one.
Tell us about your podcast and your mission.
Women Run Canada is a podcast that celebrates Canadian Women runners from all walks of life and works to create a community that we can all share. From elite runners to brand new runners, we all get to hang out for an hour at a time on the show and connect, laugh, and be inspired.
Why have you chosen to support Fast and Female?
I learned about Fast and Female from my very first ever podcast guest, the amazing Sasha Gollish. The statistic that one out of three girls who play sports drop out by the age of 16 hit me hard. There are SO many benefits to continuing sport throughout your life, I love how Fast and Female connects and inspires self-identified girls who need it.
Your ‘marathon shero’ shirts are incredible! Tell us about the inspiration behind the design.
I saw a similar shirt with American marathoners, and I thought “this needs to be a thing for Canadians”. But how do you choose?? So, I asked our community to vote for their top five sheroes and I put the winners on the shirt… Okay I put six of them on the shirt… the votes were too tight!
Did you participate in sports/physical activity as a child?
I used to do gymnastics and then judo when I was young but true to the statistic I mentioned earlier, I stopped by the time I was 14. I genuinely wish there had been someone to encourage me to keep going because I didn’t start being active again with running until I was in my mid-twenties.
What advice would you give to community members who are looking to empower self-identified girls, but may not believe that they have the resources to do so?
I genuinely think just encouraging them to try something new that may be outside of their comfort zone goes a long way. Last year (before the lockdown) I helped with the Winnipeg site for The Secret Marathon 3K. The event was in benefit of the Girl Guides and so many of them were encouraged by their leaders to try and complete it. Seeing their glowing, thrilled faces at the finish line tells me that a lot of them surprised themselves… and got them hooked on the finish line feeling! There are a lot of low-cost or free virtual running events right now that can make great goals.
What’s your favourite pump-up song?!
I listen to If you Want Blood by AC/DC pre-start line for every race. Also, whenever I am having a down day, I like to blast Lucky by Britney Spears to cheer me up. Now you know all my weird secrets! HAHA
Is there anything else that you’d like the Fast and Female community to know?
I think that sometimes people don’t realize how accessible and therapeutic running can be. It’s something that anyone of any ability can do – you don’t have to be fast, you just have to get out and try. The running community is so inclusive and encouraging, it is a great way to be active either on your own or with friends.