3,000 participate in Girls on The Run 5K


Runner line up at the start of last Saturday’s Girls on the Run 5k in West Chester. More than 3,000 area residents participated in the event.

WEST CHESTER — More than 3.000 runners gathered at Henderson High School last Saturday to participate in a record breaking, Girls on the Run 5K. With the sun hidden behind overcast skies and humidity climbing, these young athletes started arriving at 7:00am with smiles, enthusiasm, and lots of energy to run, for many, their first 5K. STRIDE, a similar program for boys created by the YMCA of Greater Brandywine, also participated in Saturday’s 5K.

As a culminating event to weeks of practices, these Girls on the Run and STRIDE participants were joined by a running ‘buddy’ for Saturday’s 5K, the largest 5K in Chester County. These buddies ran side by side with their girls encouraging them every step of the way; and vice versa. 

This season Girls on the Run and STRIDE programs in Chester County alone had almost 2,000 participants. The YMCA of Greater Brandywine makes Girls on the Run and STRIDE, both bi-annual programs, available to kids in grades three to eight, throughout Chester County. Not only do these aspiring athletes, learn how exercise can help them in life and the correct steps to get fit, they also learn valuable, confidence and character building lessons to last a lifetime.

Alyssa, ten year old Girls on the Run participant from Bradford Heights Elementary School, loves the program. She explained,

“It builds my self confidence and teaches me to be the best I can be.”

When asked about the best part of this 5K she said, “The best part is finishing and knowing I tried my best.”

Saturday’s run was a challenging course. Beginning at 9am at Henderson High School the runners navigated the hills of Goshen Road before making their way down Walnut Street and finally back to Henderson to cross the coveted finish line.

Hundreds of supporters cheered and lined the streets of West Chester to get a glimpse of their runner as they made their way. This event brought families together; sisters, brothers and sisters, moms and daughters, dads and daughters, and even grandparents, not only ran together, but came out to support their runners.

At the finish line runners charged through to collect their well deserved medals of completion. Although the faces of the runners after the event were red and hot, they all had satisfaction in their eyes and smiles on their faces.

The YMCA of Greater Brandywine offered thanks its lead sponsor for this event, M & T Bank.

To learn more about Girls on the Run visit http://www.ymcagbw.org/gotr/who-we-are

To see run results go to http://www.runccrs.com/girls-on-the-run-5k-53015/

The YMCA of Greater Brandywine is a leading Chester County non-profit charity dedicated to strengthening community through programs that support youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. With more than 80,000 members at nine facilities, the YMCA of Greater Brandywine invites all people to participate in membership and programs, regardless of their ability to pay. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. www.ymcagbw.org

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