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Running Club Spotlight: Girls on the Run DC (GOTR-DC)

Running Club Spotlight: Girls on the Run DC (GOTR-DC)

Sunday, April 26, 2015 - 10:46am
Running Club Spotlight: Girls on the Run DC (GOTR-DC)

Photo courtesy of Girls on the Run DC.

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Thanks to Kelly Makimaa, Development Manager at Girls on the Run DC, for answering some of our questions.

Tell us about your club's mission/history.
The mission of Girls on the Run-DC (GOTR-DC) is to provide preteen girls (grades 3-8) in Washington, DC with an innovative experiential learning program that pairs a proven character development curriculum with running instruction. The life skills curriculum equips girls with the information and empowerment they need to meet life’s pressing challenges: from peer pressure to bullying, body image to healthy relationships and healthy living. 

Girls on the Run first arrived in Washington in 2006 when a single team was established at an independent school in Ward 3. Since then, GOTR-DC has grown to serve as many as 2,000 girls on teams in every single ward of the District at host sites that include public, public charter and independent schools in elementary, middle and K-8 settings. As we have grown we have thoughtfully and intentionally evolved to serve a population of girls that accurately reflects the robust diversity of the District.

How much does it cost to join?
The program cost is $185 per participant. GOTR-DC provides approximately 64% of our participants with financial assistance in order to participate in the program. Without the fundraising that we do through a variety of avenues, many girls would not be able to participate and learn these life lessons. Our goal is to serve as many girls in the District that want to participate that opportunity. 

How many members are in your club? What are your club's demographics in terms of age, gender, etc.?
Girls on the Run - DC serves approximately 2,000 girls in 3rd - 8th grade who attend the DC Public, Charter and Independent Schools. Demographically, our GOTR – DC participants closely reflect the diversity of DC as a whole. According to recent surveys of GOTR families, our girls are:  52% African American, 13% Hispanic and 30% Caucasian, with the balance indicating Asian, multi-racial or declined to answer. We also serve girls across all 8 wards of the District.

Does your club have weekly workouts/runs? If so, when and where are they?
The teams meet twice a week for 10 weeks during each season for 75 - 90 minutes. During each 10-week program (offered fall and spring) girls will develop and improve competence, build confidence in who they are, develop strength of character, respond to others and self with care and compassion, create positive connections with peers and adults, and make a meaningful contribution to community and society. 

Does the group get together for social events as well? 
Our adult charity runners,  SoleMates, are individuals or teams (men and women) who pursue personal goals, such as running a marathon or a 10k, or completing a triathlon or cycling event, while raising money to help young girls in Washington, DC live their own dreams. SoleMate fundraising helps provide program scholarships to girls who could not otherwise participate in the life-changing program. The SoleMates have social events monthly while they are training for a particular race.

Is your club hosting any noteworthy events/races soon? Give us details!
The girls also set goals and challenge themselves physically as they prepare for a culminating 5K race, which takes place at Anacostia Park. The spring 5K is on Sunday, May 3rd and is a community event. Registration is open now. Community members can participate as a Buddy Runner or Community Participant and register here.

This spring, Girls on the Run - DC will be celebrating serving 10,000 girls through the program since our founding in 2006.

About the Author

Jamie Corey is a RRCA certified coach and author of Jamie has completed eight marathons, several triathlons and is currently training for her first Ironman. When she isn't trying to find the best bagel in town, she is usually tweeting at @TheRunster.