Not girls. Because girls are women in training – a message that the opening speaker of the first monthly Women RUN Wynwood 5K, enlightened the audience to. We have all seen run clubs as a way of motivating communities to become more active. However, the newest installment of a run-centered group to hit Miami serves a very specific purpose: to empower women.

Mike Guilbaud and Grisell Rodriguez are the founders of Women RUN Wynwood. Guilbaud, a Miami native, basketball coach, and owner of Triple Threat Fitness, has wanted to start a run club for quite some time. However, running a fitness business, coaching and mentoring local youth, helping young athletes earn basketball scholarships, while being a full-time husband and father has kept Guilbaud busy. But despite his hectic schedule, he still dreamed of bringing the Wynwood community together by offering a run club that would inspire people to get active and to give back to the community.

Enter Rodriguez – a Puerto Rico born fashion merchandiser with a passion for fitness who started coaching at Triple Threat Fitness. She had the idea for Women RUN Wynwood after waking up one morning to go for a run by herself, even though she wasn’t feeling at peace with what was going on internally. It was during this run that Rodriguez got the idea for Women RUN Wynwood, as she contemplated the internal conflicts she was struggling with at the time.

“Throughout my run, I just started thinking about everything. Things I go through as a woman, the ups, the downs, the ‘you’re not good enough’, the ‘you’re not strong enough’, the ‘you’re not beautiful enough.’ It just really hit me,” said Rodriguez. “If I feel this way, and I know these things are not true, there must be so many women that feel the same way. The whole purpose of Women RUN Wynwood is for women to come together, and help each other rise, something to help ladies start each month out with power and positive energy, by providing an experience that motivates, supports, and drives the ladies to another level of empowerment.”

Women RUN Wynwood

Most of us have these thoughts, but when Rodriguez had these thoughts, she decided to do something about it in a big way. She suggested the idea of starting a run club to Guilbaud who immediately recognized the serendipitous nature of her concept. Her recent, less-than-empowering solo run, caused Rodriguez to insist that the event focus on women.

When Guilbaud and Rodriguez sat down to discuss details they both agreed that they had to create something more purposeful than just a women’s only run club. After brainstorming on some of the top concerns for women, the pair unanimously decided that the overall purpose for their run club would be none other than one of the biggest female concerns of them all: empowerment.

And thus, Women RUN Wynwood was born.

This isn’t your typical run club. Women RUN Wynwood is a free, monthly event, where women can come together to talk about issues that affect so many women.

What you can expect when you attend Women RUN Wynwood:

  • The event starts off with a registration (Duh)
  • An opening speaker hypes up the crowd with a message on female power (For the very first event the very first speaker just so happened to be yours truly. Not to toot my own horn but *beepbeep*)
  • A warmup (Like foreplay for your workout)
  • The 5K (Dun dun dunnnnn! Don’t worry. There are three waves for different levels of runners AND an alternative way to get active à la spin class style)
  • A yoga/stretch cool down (The first one was awesome and was provided by Isabella Baeumler of Nobe Yoga)
  • A motivating and inspirational message, or two, from a guest speaker/speakers (Because once you know your power you want to have some inspiring motivation to use it)
  • And then it’s time to mingle! (Women are encouraged to hang out, checkout the vendors, listen to the DJ and have conversations about what is important to them)

Women RUN Wynwood

If you think all that sounds amazing then you’re right – it is. But wait, it’s even more amazing than you already think. There are several beautiful things about this (besides the empowering concept) that make it the run club that you want to join. The amazing thing about the vendors is that they are all, get this, companies that are either founded, co-founded or run by women. The speakers? Local women who are major influencers and make a positive impact here in our Miami community and also in our world at large.

And the fitness? Alternatives were provided. Okay, not all of us like to run (I’m frantically raising my hand the highest right now) so the beautiful, and genius, thing that Guilbald and Rodriguez did here was arrange for those who didn’t want to run to take a spinning class instead. Which still gets club members active, but with an avenue that they may be more comfortable with (and one that is low impact for those that need it).

Rodriguez says that the goal of Women RUN Wynwood is “to create a club/movement, where the first Sunday of every month, women feel welcome to come and lift each other up. Women are so strong and so beautiful and so unique and we all carry ourselves differently. Not enough women are aware of this. My goal is to make this point across loud and clear. Including exercise and good nutrition along the way. When women feel good about themselves, they do good, and this is the whole purpose behind Women RUN Wynwood.”

Women RUN Wynwood

The response from their first event has been a supportive expression of excitement and gratitude. From women feeling empowered by completing a 5K (which some disclosed that they didn’t even know they could do), to experiencing a strong sense of resonance after listening to the powerful speakers, or to just being glad that they now have a fun, safe and welcoming environment to be in with other like-minded women.

I’m all in. And this time I am frantically raising two hands because Grisell, sister, you inspire me. And in fact – You, dear reader and probable pancake lover, can meet me in person at their next event and we can talk all about whatever you want. The next Women RUN Wynwood will be held on Sunday, January 7th, 2018. It will be hosted at CrossFit Wynwood with registration starting at 8am (sharp ladies!) with the event starting at 9am.