A sea of pink hair, green glitter, navy shirts, and hair bows of all colors descended upon Burlington on a warm Sunday morning in November in anticipation of the Girls on the Run 5k. The race celebrated the end of another successful season; a culmination of the hard work and training of hundreds of girls with their coaches over the two previous months.
Girls on the Run is a non-profit prevention program for girls in grades three through five, with a Girls on Track program for girls in grades six through eight. The 10-week program follows a national curriculum focused on building self-esteem and improving emotional and physical health with training for a 3.1-mile (5K) event. The program centers on finding your inner strength and defining your life in your own terms based around the things that make you feel strong and unique.
Girls on the Run of New Jersey East has been fostering the physical and mental wellbeing of adolescent females since 2000, with girls returning to the program in both the fall and the spring. Under the direction of a dedicated staff of trained male and female volunteer coaches, over 1,000 girls in five counties in 2012 engaged in lessons about friendships, peer pressure, gossip, and emotional wellbeing while preparing to complete a 5k.
Registration for the fall season opens in March at www.girlsontherunnj.org. All program sites meet twice a week for 1 hour and 15 minutes per practice with programs in East Windsor, Hopewell Boro, Pennington, Titusville, Princeton, Stuart, Robbinsville, West Windsor, and Moorestown within Burlington and Mercer counties. Residency is not required.