Though World Championship silver medalist Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) is best known for carving out the history of her sport for U.S. Women, Randall has an equally large passion in building up the future of the sport through the organization Fast and Female.
Fast and female is an organization that aims to build confidence in young girls and women while showing them the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle by getting them on a pair of cross country skis.
"The motto is 'Empowerment through sport' so it's all about getting girls out, participating and using role models and athletes to show the girls that they can have big dreams and they are able to go out and accomplish goals," Randall said.
While Fast and Female is a Canadian organization, through a close friendship with the organization's creator Randall took hold of the philosophy and ran her own Fast and Female camp at the 2009 U.S. Cross Country Championships last season in Alaska.
"I am really good friends with Chandra Crawford, who started Fast and Female in Canada, and I talked to her about it," Randall said."She was excited to get it going in the U.S. So I asked if I could host an event in Alaska and she said that she'd be happy to help."
According to Randall the response to the camp was more than she expected.
"When I first thought about doing it I thought, 'If I can get even 50 girls out there, it would be awesome.' I advertised it and did online registration and we ended up with 150 girls at the event," Randall said.
Randall led the day camp, which included cross country skiing as well as some motivation from athletes who were in Anchorage to race at the U.S. Championships.
"It was super fun. We had a lot of the top female cross country skiers there. We did an hour-long ski session with the girls, we had an inspirational story time and we had posters and tee shirts for everyone. It was a really fun event," Randall said.
With the first camp a success, Randall said she is looking forward to being able to bring Fast and Female camps to more U.S. girls in the future.
"I'm hoping to pull off another similar event when the championships come back to Anchorage in January. From there I would like to have two events a year in different spots around the country," Randall said. "My life revolves around sports and I've experienced firsthand the benefits of being involved. I'm just looking forward to having the opportunity to help girls get involved in sports and look at good pathways to have a lot of fun."