On the Run
Enjoying the Mountains by Foot
Photography: Dev Khalsa
(page 4 of 4)
Girls on the Run
“Girls on the Run is more than a running program. It’s a very interactive, fun program for all girls of all athletic abilities,” says Mary Fauth, Girls on the Run executive director.
In its sixth year, Girls on the Run is an after-school running program that uses running as a tool to teach third-through fifth-grade girls to become self-confident women, empowers girls and teaches an appreciation for running. The program’s non-competitive environment relies on interactive activities from relays to journaling to encourage self-awareness, a sense of achievement and team building.
“Volunteer coaches guide girls through an innovative curriculum that addresses key developmental issues and helps the girls train for an end-of-the-season 5K race.
“These girls are at an age when there really are a lot of other influences, like the media and the outward pressures of the world. The program is a powerful tool for instilling core values, giving girls lifelong tools, and helping give decision-making abilities as they go into the critical junior high years,” says Fauth. “The activities give a voice to something the girls might not have thought about or might just be experiencing, like bullying or gossiping.”
“When the girls come across the finish line, you look at their families and see their sense of pride and accomplishment in their faces,” she says. “Then you look in the girls’ faces. For the most part they have never competed in a race or gone that distance; they are really proud of themselves.”
Megan Thomas, a runner and former Girls on the Run coach, is grateful for the trail running opportunities throughout the Wood River Valley.