A pair of young friends are making it their mission to help Bozeman’s trails — and they are doing it all from scratch.
“5K’s are just, like, a perfect community event,” said Nomi Friedman.
That 5K — “Run for the Trails,” organized by 13-year-old Nomi and her friend, 12-year-old Maya Keefer — started with a few ideas.
“We both love to run and we run on these trails and bike and hike on these GVLT trails daily, and so we thought that creating this 5K would be a really good way to fundraise, obviously, for GVLT,” Nomi said.
“I was like, ‘I think I really want to do something for GVLT,’ but then Nomi was like, ‘Oh, I’m organizing this 5K,’ and I was like, ‘Can I please help?'” added Maya.
The duo took their idea to the Gallatin Valley Land Trust (GVLT) and did so like pros.
“A couple months ago, we got a very professional and mature voicemail from a young lady who said that she wanted to raise money for the Gallatin Valley Land Trust for her Bat Mitzvah,” said EJ Porth, communications & outreach director for GVLT.
“It’s just been really great,” Porth said. “They’ve come in here, they’ve met with us, they’ve asked all of the questions, they learned the ins and outs of planning a race.”
“They are humongous, and we knew that we were going to have to dial it back a little bit for this one because obviously we go to school every day and we don’t have a lot of time,” Nomi said.
“We gave ourselves three months,” said Maya.
“Yeah, and they went quickly,” added Nomi.
Maya and Nomi’s 5K is like a professional 5K. They have a very large route, but they want to keep their mission clear: it’s all about keeping these trails the way they are or better.
“Our trails are important and we need them, and we need our nature and we’re going to work for that,” Maya said.
That gives runners another reason to lace up.
The race is timed perfectly along with GVLT’s Summer Challenge.
“Every three miles that a person runs in our race, that’s three dollars,” Nomi said.
“It’s really amazing because I feel like as much as we have been doing, it doesn’t seem like as much has happened,” said Maya.
The best part: every cent will go to GVLT.
“I think it’s very important for kids our age to be able to have the resources that they have like these trails and the nature we have here, and I think it shows also that kids our age can organize and make a difference,” Nomi said.
The race is less than a week away, set for 10 a.m. on June 15, taking runners through Lindley Park and up Peet’s Hill.
That’s right: they planned the course, too.
“That’s the biggest takeaway is that everyone can help with everything,” Maya said.
For more information on the race and how to sign up, check out the girls’ website.