For the last few months, I’ve been writing blog posts about an amazing organization called Girls on the Run, an after-school program for girls in Grades 3-8 that helps improve self esteem and creatively integrates running. In the spring, I volunteered with a small but mighty team that helps put together the finale of this 10-week program: a 5K run for all the girls involved.
It was incredibly inspiring to be there watching hundreds of smiling girls as they crossed the finish line. The high fives. The hugs. The overwhelming feeling of empowerment and pride. It reminded me why I run, and I felt proud and happy to have played a small role in a program that provides young girls with this amazing opportunity.
As soon as the event wrapped up, the organizing team got right back to work to talk about their next big initiative: the second annual Women on the Run 5K on September 29. This fun, non-competitive 5K is a fundraising event for Girls on the Run held at Downsview Park in Toronto. Funds raised as part of the registration fee for the run will go directly toward supporting the Girls on the Run mandate: providing all girls with the opportunity to participate in the program.
I really can’t say enough good things about Girls on the Run. I was convinced it was an amazingly worthwhile program just reading about it, but after meeting the girls who actually participated back in June, I am a passionate supporter. Not only does the program get girls running and exercising, it also teaches them to manage life’s many challenges like gossip, bullying and standing up for themselves and others.
If you’re a seasoned runner, why not register and show your support for this great cause? First timer? It’s a great run to consider. A supportive, casual atmosphere will make your first run a breeze. With only 1,000 runners, you can avoid the gigantic crowds of most 5K runs and the route is paved with minimal hills – good news for hill averse runners like myself! The route is two loops of a marked course and encouraging course monitors will be onsite to assist (and provide moral support if needed!)
More interested in a brisk walk? You can do that too. The 5K can be done as either a walk or a run. Your choice. All ages and abilities are welcome.
You can register for the run or walk through The Running Room here. Space is limited so don’t be disappointed!