“Girls on the Run Is So Much Fun”

Monday May 26, 2014

“Girls on the Run Is So Much Fun,” was our chant and it was so true!  Anyone who visited UNC Wellness Center in NW Cary in the Spring of 2014, probably heard a giant group of girls yell this chant regularly as UNC Wellness Centers had two teams for our first very successful season of Girls on the Run.

UNC Wellness was excited about moving into a very family oriented neighborhood here in NW Cary. UNC Wellness leadership made a commitment to providing family friendly programming.  We discussed creating a youth running club.  As we looked into it more, we realized that Girls on the Run was exactly the type of program that UNC Wellness would like to host.  In addition to fun fitness and running games, coaches had the joy of teaching overall wellness concepts including empowerment, responsibility, intentionality, diversity, connectedness, joy, optimism, gratitude, nurturing, healthiness, open-heartedness, and compassion.  Girls on the Run’s Mission, “We inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.”

We brought the idea to the leadership team at UNC Wellness Centers and they enthusiastically supported the idea, donating time, staff, and space with all of the proceeds of the program going to the Girls on the Run non-profit.  In fact, they liked the idea so well, they decided to host two teams and provided the facility, one manager, two certified personal trainers, and two fitness instructors to be the coaches!  Girls on the Run of the Triangle was equally enthusiastic about the partnership.  When the director came to view the UNC facility they told us that it was absolutely the perfect location and facility because of our outdoor turf, indoor exercise space, and indoor track.

Coach Lovely Logan, Coach Authentic Anna, and Goofy Gabby coached the Tuesday /Thursday afterschool program. Coach Smiley Susan, Creative Celeste, Happy Hannah coached the Wednesday evening/ Saturday morning crew.  We had an amazing time learning and sharing from these brilliant, kind, thoughtful girls.  Both teams held a combined practice 5K which took them around the wellness center, down Yates Store Rd and back.  And all their families were there volunteering, helping out, and cheering them on all along the route.

One of our most proud lessons was on community involvement.  One of our awesome parents works at a pediatric hospital and suggested that a great community service project would be to collect activity bags.  Our generous girls put together 63 bags full of crafts, games, drawing supplies and more and our Fitness Director Logan Washburn (coach Lovely Logan) coordinated delivery to UNC Health Care Pediatric Hospital.  And without our knowing, there were 63 pediatric beds full when we delivered them just in time for Easter!

Our final 5K run was a beautiful day!  Our UNC Wellness Girls on the Run teams had great attitudes, lots of fun, costumes, and they all did really well.  Lots of pride filled, teary eyes, from our girls, coaches, and parents, as we all recognized their amazing accomplishments.  This could not have been a better experience for all of us involved.  We cannot wait to host a Girls on the Run team again in the fall.  And we are excited to announce that we will also have a boys team through another awesome organization based on the Girls on the Run Model, “ Let Me Run!”  Stayed tuned to UNC Wellness Website and Facebook pages for sign up dates.  We will let you know as soon as they are available.

If you need a smile, please click here to watch the video highlights of our team put together by Coach Creative Celeste.