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May 13, 2013
Girls on the Run Journey to End with Spring Celebration
Brighid Klick
For the last 10-12 weeks, more than 1,000 girls in southeast and southwest Michigan have been preparing for their final 5K event, held in Ypsilanti and Kentwood this upcoming weekend.  The race is not competitive, but is instead a celebration of all that these 8-13 year olds have accomplished during the curriculum of Girls on the Run.
Kent County Girls on the Run (KCGOTR) is an independent council of Girls on the Run International and so includes just third through fifth grade girls in Kent County—however, KCGOTR also has a program for middle school girls that is run in the fall and is targeted at that particular age group.  The 2013 Spring 5K Celebration is for the younger girls and will be held Saturday, May 18, at Kentwood High School, near Grand Rapids.
Girls in southeast Michigan will be running their event Sunday, May 19, in Ypsilanti.  This much more expansive run includes girls from Washtenaw, Jackson, Monroe, Livingston, and Lenawee Counties.  There will be much larger crowds with this race, which starts at the Eastern Michigan University Convocation Center.  After the race, girls and their families are invited to participate in the Celebration Expo, including music, concessions, a bouncy house, and many other fun activities.
Girls on the Run is an after-school program for girls in grades three through five that uses running to encourage girls to gain a better understanding of who they are and learn the importance of being healthy.  The girls meet with a team of 8-20 other girls twice a week for an hour and a half after school.  For 10-12 weeks, depending on the program, the girls get to know who they are and learn how to be part of a team and community while training for a 5K race.  They build their self-esteem, work together on a community service project, and improve their fitness level, then celebrate all that they have accomplished by participating in the final running event.
For more information about Girls on the Run International, and to find locations for your daughters near you, please visit their website.
Next Running Article: May 8, 2013
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