By Jeff Keeling
Girls on the Run’s next 5k run May 3 will have a companion race that organizers hope will not just raise funds for the after-school running program, but produce some personal bests for racers.
Total Sports US, which represents several world-class track and field athletes, is sponsoring the “Downtown Dash,” which will feature prize money and run through the historic Tree Streets and downtown. Five minutes after the Dash’s 8:55 a.m. start from South Side Elementary School, the traditional GOTR 5k will take off on the same course.
Both races are presented by Families for a Healthier Eastman, a supporter of the GOTR program.
“We think we’ve put a course layout together that’s going to be flat and fast and allow people to get (personal records) on a legitimate 5k course,” Total Sports’s Chris Layne said at an April 4 news conference.
GOTR co-director Ani Boyd said the twice-yearly GOTR 5ks are just the icing on the cake of a growing program that is about health and character development. The program is in dozens of area schools and follows a 12-week schedule with 24 lessons about nutrition, physical activity, bullying, sportsmanship and self-image.
“We use running as our tool to teach girls to figure out who they are, be true to themselves, and to go into adolescence and beyond with self-confidence and an assurance that they are perfect the way that they are,” Boyd said.
For more information on the May 3 event visit gotrnetn.org/5k/.