Girls on the Run (Spring 2012)

This morning was the “Girls on the Run NoVA” 5k running event at George Mason University.  There were over 7,000 runners participating, including 3,500 elementary schools girls representing over two hundred public and parochial schools.

Yes, I’m a fanatic … about youth fitness.  One of my biggest alarms over the past 15 years has been the continuing decline in physical fitness requirements at our public schools — and the concomitant increase in childhood obesity.

I’ve heard every excuse in the book about why our public schools can’t address this public health crisis, which is more prevalent than teenage pregnancy, smoking or drugs.

But I digress.

Because today it was a great day with thousands of girls and their “buddy runners” running through the rolling hills of the GMU campus.

Many thanks to the sponsor United Healthcare and organizers, especially Caryn Moran, for continuing to expand GOTR which establishes after-school running clubs to prepare for  today’s race.  They are teaching children to push themselves physically and mentally, as opposed to wasting time with the latest “I-Phone” gimmick.

My own daughter ran with the Mosby Woods Elementary team, along with my wife who “coached” the team.  I ran at the front of the pack, which meant I could finish early (23:20) and then cheer on the madding crowd.

This is a great program.  I’d like to see it expand statewide.









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  • Janice Miller

    Agree with you Chap that children need more exercise. While it is a great idea to have Girls on the Run all over the Commonwealth it would be an even better idea if NoVA boys were included in the program — or have a similar alternative to join. Your Tommy and my grandsons are not eligible for this program. Would be outstanding to see an equal opportunity alternative for boys. It is also disappointing to note that each program is limited to TWENTY participants….each local program is NOT reaching nearly enough kids….and the fees for the program are quite high ($165.00 for a ten week program). You can’t knock success, but you can look for ways to improve a program and provide boarder participation.