You’re a one-in-a-million runner!
If you enjoy running for the sheer joy of it on a beautiful spring day, get ready for the annual Girls on the Run® of Northeast Indiana 5K in Fort Wayne on Saturday, May 30, 2015. Three Rivers Running Company (TRRC) will present the 2015 occasion, and GOTR will celebrate its one millionth girl (could that be you?), so lace up those running shoes and meet your peeps at Georgetown Square at 8:30 a.m. for a day of inspiration and fun.
The popular affair, which is open to the public, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to creating a world where every girl activates her limitless potential, and combines education with physical exercise, according to the website (girlsontherun.org). Each team decides on a community service project which gives the girls valuable experience in teamwork and the satisfaction that comes from helping others.
Founded in North Carolina in 1996, the organization involves not only girls but also their families, sponsors, GOTR coaches, running companions and volunteers who serve as positive role models. There are more than 46,000 volunteers who deliver the program at 6,000-plus sites and approximately 33 of the participants are provided with full or partial scholarships annually.
The organization is divided in two groups—the 3rd-5th grade program and the 6th-8th grade program—and is run in two 10-week sessions, one in the spring (the 5K) and one in the fall when the runners participate in the River City Rat Race.
As an after-school program for the 3rd-5th graders, the GOTR curriculum promotes, “positive emotional, social, mental and physical development, and… important strategies and skills to help the girls navigate life experiences,” according to the website, which adds that physical activity in the program inspires a hopefully lifelong appreciation of fitness and health.
“It’s exciting to watch the girls progress and achieve more than they thought they could,” said third-year GOTR coach Joanne Mannes, adding that although the girls were at different degrees in their running, they enjoyed being on the team for friendship benefits.
Katy Anderson, a first-time GOTR coach, took up running to help lessen the sadness of her older sister’s death.
“Last fall I got to meet the director and some of the other women, and they all seemed so positive and that is why I’m coaching this year,” said Anderson.
Proceeds benefit Girls on the Run® of Allen County/Northeast Indiana, according to Hillary Knipstein, council director of the Allen County GOTR.
“Our 160 spring participants will reach their goal of completing a 5K and will be matched with Running Buddies who will help them navigate the course and support them,” said Knipstein, adding that a DJ will be added, a 50-yard “mascot dash” and “happy hair” stations.
Also, a “shoe fairy” from TRRC with help from the Community Foundation and generous donors, visited two of the teams and will bring each girl a pair of shoes.
Interested Allen County girls and parents are invited to contact Knipstein by emailing her at Hillary.firstname.lastname@example.org.
GOTR is already planning to reach its goal of serving 2 million girls by 2020—so go out and run with them!