Girls on the Run celebrates fall season
SALISBURY — More than 700 girls and running buddies celebrated the fall season of Girls on the Run on Sunday afternoon at Salisbury Community Park.
The girls all had completed 10 weeks of life skills and running instruction at 33 elementary and middle schools in Rowan and Iredell counties.
“Race day is beyond exciting for me,” said Jennifer Summers, founder of Girls on the Run of the Greater Piedmont. “I get the ‘little kid on the first day of summer vacation’ feeling, like the options for freedom and fun are endless. These girls are our future. They need to understand how important, strong and capable they are.
“A 5K is challenging but doable,” Summers continued. “My hope is the participants allow that thought to bleed over into the rest of their challenges, that ‘hard’ is doable and worth the work.”
Amy Spear, events coordinator for the organization, planned the celebration with the help of the Salisbury Parks and Recreation Department and Salisbury Rowan Runners.
“After being a part of the GOTR team for six years, I am still delighted by this event,” Spear said. “So many girls bubbling over with enthusiasm, eager to complete this run with their friends and families cheering them on. Their energy is contagious, and I love seeing the community come together to support them.
“The finish line is just the beginning for these girls,” Spear added. “They are setting and accomplishing goals. I hope this builds confidence in each one of them so they can look ahead and think now that, ‘I did that and what’s next?’”
The 10-week Girls on the Run after-school program is designed to inspire girls of all abilities to recognize their inner strength. Lessons emphasize the important connection between physical and emotional health.
At the end of the program, girls participate in a 5K, which provides a tangible sense of accomplishment, setting a confident and goal-oriented mindset into motion.
Novant Health is the primary sponsor of the 5K, along with Saks Orthodontic and Carolina Crossroads Dental Care. The Salisbury fire and police departments supported Sunday’s gathering.
For more information on Girls on the Run, go to www.gotrgreaterpiedmont.org.
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