Sweet Briar to host Girls on the Run of Central Virginia for semiannual 5K

April 20, 2017 | By Janika Carey
Girls on the Run participants have a blast at the fall 2016 5K at Sweet Briar.

Girls on the Run participants have a blast at the fall 2016 5K at Sweet Briar. Photo by Mariana Boska/Karen Smith Photographer

Sweet Briar College will once again host Girls on the Run of Central Virginia for one of the council’s Spring Celebration 5Ks. The race starts at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, April 29, with pre-race activities scheduled to begin at 8 a.m.

As in previous years, the challenging 5K course will loop around campus, with runners starting off at the athletic fields near the train station and heading toward the main campus. They will come through the traffic circle to Chapel Road, then pick up Dairy Road to the stables. After passing the horse pastures and climbing Monument Hill, the runners will finish back at the athletic fields.

Girls on the Run of Central Virginia is an independent Council of Girls on the Run International, a network of more than 200 councils across 50 states and the District of Columbia. Girls spend 12 weeks in the program, including training to prepare for the semiannual 5K — a culminating event that recognizes and celebrates their efforts.

Runners approach the finish line during the fall 2016 Girls on the Run 5K at Sweet Briar.

Runners approach the finish line during the fall 2016 Girls on the Run 5K at Sweet Briar. Photo by Mariana Boska/Karen Smith Photographer

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

Since fall 2011, the College has provided a picturesque route, as well as 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. Celebration 5Ks take place each fall and spring.

Council director Mary Hansen is expecting more than 250 girls for the April event, along with their coaches, volunteers, family and friends and community runners. In all, about 800 people will be on campus for the event.

“It is so great to once again be on the beautiful campus of Sweet Briar College, celebrating the accomplishments of the Girls on the Run participants,” Hansen said. “We are enormously grateful to the Sweet Briar community for all that they do to make this a memorable event for these intrepid girls, and for investing in the future of our communities.”

Hansen began setting up the Central Virginia council in 2005, launching the program in spring 2006 at Holy Cross Regional School. Back then, there were two teams with a total of 26 girls. Last year, the council served 1,100 girls.

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

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