Girls on the Run hosted their annual 5k at 2 p.m. on Nov. 13, 2022, in Overton Park. This celebratory race ended the fall season of this year’s Girls on the Run program, and girls from grade 3 to 8 participated along with anyone else who wanted to join.
Girls on the Run was founded by Molly Barker in 1996 with only 13 participants; however, today there are over 2 million participants nationally. Through running and community, Girls on the Run empowers all girls to develop their confidence through dynamic teachings, which provide essential life lessons. This program only recently came to Memphis in 2018 and is directed by Joanna Lipman. Nine different locations offer the program here, including Shelby Farms, Campus School, and Evans Elementary School.
Joanna Lipman believes that Girls on the Run is a formative space for social and emotional development.
“They [spend] a lot of time talking about what it means to be a friend and how to understand your emotions and appreciate your strengths and your differences,”' she said. “And it [incorporates] running.”
Joanna Lipman reflects on what this program has accomplished in Memphis for the past five years.
“I really feel like there's such a critical need for this kind of safe place,” she said. “[A] place for girls to belong. I think we provide that, and we've just engaged a lot of incredible volunteers as well to help bring this program to the girls in our city.”
A Girls on the Run coach, Sonja Lipman, volunteered for her third season this year. It was her first year as a coach working with middle school girls.
“My favorite part about Girls on the Run has been working with middle school girls and kind of connecting on a deeper level,” Sonja Lipman said. “Helping girls through problems with friendships, or bullies, or just like at school I think is just as important as it is to encourage people to go out and exercise.”
Ava Fleming, a Hutchison student, was a participant in the Shelby County Girls on the Run program, and this was her first year participating.
“I love how it teaches us how to open up because I usually just stay closed in when I am home,” Fleming said.
Fleming explained why she was excited to participate in the 5k, in addition to running.
“Yeah, they said they’re going to have music and snacks after the run so I'm pretty sure I'm gonna like it,” said Fleming.
There are many volunteer opportunities to sign up for during the 5k. Anyone can set up the course, cheer on the runners and help with the many fun booths before and after the 5k.
If you want to join the fun this Spring, click here to learn more about the upcoming 5K. here! https://www.gotrmemphis.org/5K
Snapshot of Eve, family, and friends from their Spring 2019 5K!