Girls ready to run 5K at Sweet Briar

| November 15, 2013

Sweet Briar College will host the Girls on the Run of Central Virginia Fall 2013 Celebration 5K at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 23.

A non-competitive “fun run,” the race is the culmination of the region’s Girls on the Run fall program. Central Virginian girls ages 8 to 14 spend 10 to 12 weeks training for the 5K, which recognizes and celebrates their efforts.

Girls warm up before the 2011 Celebration 5K at Sweet Briar.

The Lynchburg-based Girls on the Run council will be returning to Sweet Briar’s campus for its fifth race since the two women’s organizations announced a partnership in August 2011 — and it’s always a scene of riotous color and excitement at the start line near the old train station.

The runners rev up before the race at tables where volunteers make their hair “happy” with bright spray-on colors and paint their faces. There’s dancing to warm-up music and inspirational chanting as team members, many holding each other’s hands, line up for the start. Dozens of volunteers, including Sweet Briar students, help with course setup, work pre-race activities, or serve as running buddies for approximately 500 registered girls as they tackle the challenging 5K course.

The route takes runners past fields, woods and dells, up and down hills along the Dairy Loop, winding its way past the riding center and through campus.

Sweet Briar is a proud supporter of Girls on the Run’s mission, which is “to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident” and to “educate and prepare girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living.” Girls on the Run also provides opportunities for Sweet Briar students to volunteer, mentor the younger girls and share some of the benefits they’ve experienced in an all-women’s educational environment.

The Lynchburg-based Girls on the Run of Central Virginia council has program sites in public and private schools from Appomattox to Greene County, including six Amherst County elementary schools.

Registration is open to the family members of Girls on the Run participants. The cost is $25 until Nov. 20, when online registration closes. Race-day registration is $35. Pets or strollers are not permitted. For more information, visit www.girlsontheruncenva.org or call (434) 528-3767.

Jennifer McManamay

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