Girls on the Run of Central Virginia returns to Sweet Briar for Fall Celebration 5K

Runners had fun during the Spring 2016 Celebration 5K at Sweet Briar College. Photos by Karen Smith
Runners had fun during the Spring 2016 Celebration 5K at Sweet Briar College. Photos by Karen Smith

Each fall and spring, hundreds of girls between the ages of 8 and 13 descend upon the Sweet Briar College campus to run the famous Dairy Loop. They are all part of a special program that seeks to encourage girls to live healthy and empowered lives: Girls on the Run of Central Virginia. The council’s Fall 2016 Celebration 5K will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 19.

Pre-race activities will begin at 8:30 a.m. Girls on the Run council director Mary Hansen is expecting as many as 450 girls, 100 coaches, 120 volunteers and more than 130 runners and countless family members at Sweet Briar College. The council serves more than 1,000 girls annually and is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

Spring Celebration 5K at Sweet Briar earlier this year. Photo by Karen Smith
Spring Celebration 5K at Sweet Briar earlier this year. Photo by Karen Smith

Sweet Briar proudly supports Girls on the Run and its mission to “inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.”

Girls spend 12 weeks in the program, including training to prepare for the 5K — a culminating event that recognizes and celebrates their efforts.

Sweet Briar’s partnership with Girls on the Run of Central Virginia began in fall 2011.

Since then, the College has provided not just a picturesque route, but student and staff volunteers to help direct traffic, as running buddies and with pre-race activities such as face painting and the “happy-hair” station.

“Girls on the Run of Central Virginia is delighted to, once again, join our friends out at Sweet Briar College for an awesome celebration of our young participants,” Hansen said.

For more information, email girlsontheruncenva@verizon.net, visit the council’s website or follow them on Facebook.

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