Sunday, October 29, 2006

Girls On The Run - Helping Youth Build Confidence

Here's a great story about a youth program in Bellingham, WA, that uses distance running to build confidence and goal-setting skills for girls in the 3rd-5th grade. Can you imagine running a 5k when you're just 10 years old? That's a big deal!

(Bailey White, 9, runs through a tunnel of girls during YMCA's Girls on the Run as part of her 12-week training program; photo courtesy of Philip Dwyer, The Bellingham Herald)

A few great quotes:

"What I really love about this is how long-range goals are taught so well. Now when (10 year old) Etaane tries something, she doesn't see herself limited by the fact she doesn't have experience."
"We're encouraging girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living. And the girls have so much fun, it doesn't seem like we're training them to run."
Perhaps there are a few next-gen ultrarunners in there...

- SD


  1. Thank Scott for telling this program. I enjoy reading your blogs - nearly the first thing to check every day and a few times a day!

    My kids (8 and 4) went for a Pumpkin Patch this morning - their very first running race! They ran half and quarter mile respectively. They were excited about their oversize T-shirts and goodie bags, but the event gave them some experience about what their dad has been doing. I told them a 100 Miler is 400 laps of the track there.

    I feel that the event had them understand a little about themselves through the running activity similar to this YMCA program. Hope my kids will find out more in coming future.


  2. Girls on the Run is a national program. My wife, 9 year old daughter and I ran what was my daughter's third 5K this weekend in Atlanta, GA.

    It was a girl scout 5K, but the girl scouts were walking! While the Girls on the Run program promotes esteem over competition, two of the top three finisher under 10 were Girls on the Run participants.

    A great program and a great blog as well. Thanks.

  3. That is so cool! It sounds like a great program. And it sounds like Chihping's kids are ready to hit the 5k!

    Thanks for the kudos on the blog too.


  4. Right GOTR is a national program. The last two Wednesdays folks from our tri-club were invited to join the girls at their practice in Kezar Stadium. Basically some running exercises centered around a lesson. Last week it was around the concept of teamwork, the week before was on Alcohol, Drugs and Smoking. The lesson always preceded the running exercises and was reinforced during the workout.

    Here in the Bay Area their run is on December 9th at Crissy Field, called the Lollipop run. Here's a copy of an email I recently got calling on volunteers for the event.

    * * * *
    Be A Running Buddy!
    Help a Girl Cross the Finish Line of her FIRST 5K or 1-Mile Run

    Sign up to run alongside a girl at the Lollipop 5K for Charity on Saturday, December 9th at Crissy Field in San Francisco. Click here for more information and to register on- line: http://www

    Women and men welcome. Must be age 16 or older.

    Keri Gardner
    Girls on the Run San Francisco

  5. That sounds like a great program. I am also a big fan of Students Run LA. I ran the LA Marathon this year with my 11 year old daughter. What an amazing accomplishment for any of the kids who tackle obstacles like this at an early age.

  6. Thanks for the interesting post, Scott. Just like Chihping, I really enjoy your blog.

    I Missed you at the start of the 72 mile Tahoe Ultra this year, but I look forward to meeting you at the Helen Klein race this weekend.

    And way to go, Chihping! Next year your kids will be pacing you at WS100 :)

  7. What a Great program! I am definately going to get involved with this group!

  8. Scott congratulations on a top 10 finish at Helen Klein this weekend.


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