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Girls on the Run invites community to join virtual 5K

Submitted by Angela Huffine • May 12, 2020 at 5:00 PM

The Girls on the Run 5K experience is the culminating event of the season and is key to celebrating the girls’ accomplishments. Despite not having the large group celebratory 5K events, Girls on the Run Northeast Tennessee is hosting a Girls on the Run Virtual 5K.

And it’s not too late for the community to support their efforts.

The virtual 5K event is similar to a traditional running event, except the participants will complete it on their own in their own location and in their own amount of time between now and May 16.

Registration for community members is now open, and proceeds will be used to support the scholarship fund to help make the fall 2020 season stronger than ever.

“Over 85% of our GOTR participants receive some form of needs-based scholarship. You can be the difference,” said Rebecca Dunkelberger, executive director.

A fun “Post Pandemic Packet Pick Up Party” is being planned for all participants to pick up their virtual 5K T-shirts and medals. The party will include a color splash station, face painting, games, a photo booth and more!

Girls on the Run believes all girls should have the opportunity to participate in its life-changing program, regardless of her family’s finances. The organization relies on the 5K as its major fundraiser to help maintain its scholarship fund; every cent raised goes to directly back to the girls who need financial assistance to participate.

“On Virtual 5K day, you’re running for ALL girls — the ones running virtually alongside you that day and the many girls in the future who desperately need this amazing program,” Dunkelberger said.


Each year, thousands of girls lace up their running shoes and join forces through Girls on the Run — a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a world where all girls can know and activate their limitless potential.

Each season, Girls on the Run Northeast Tennessee offers programming that strengthens third- to eighth-grade girls’ social, emotional, physical and behavioral skills to successfully navigate life experiences. More than 1,000 girls ages 8 to 13 in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia participate in the program. The season usually concludes in a celebratory 5K event. Unfortunately, due to school closures, social distancing guidelines and restrictions around large public events, Girls on the Run Northeast Tennessee is having to shift gears.

This year, the staff transitioned Girls on the Run in-person programming at all sites, as well as the celebratory 5K event, into virtual programming and events.

“We are incredibly disappointed, as we know our girls and coaches are too, but recognize our great collective responsibility to ensure a safer and healthier community for all,” said Dunkelberger.

The 13-year-old nonprofit has adapted quickly to continue to deliver on its mission to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident.

“Even though we’re unable to gather for lessons or the 5K events, we remain steadfast in our commitment to provide opportunities for girls to be physically active, emotionally healthy, and engaged with the core values of our programs,” Dunkelberger said.

Follow Girls on the Run Northeast Tennessee on Facebook, Instagram and its website (www.stronggirlsrun.com) for updates and information about the Virtual 5K.

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