"Our mission is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running."

For ten weeks girls meet after school twice a week to participate in lessons that inspire them to become independent thinkers, enhance their problem solving skills and make healthy decisions. The curriculum, taught by trained volunteer coaches, is organized into three parts:

  • Understanding ourselves
  • Valuing relationships and teamwork
  • Understanding how we connect with and shape the world at large

Running is used to inspire and motivate girls, encourage lifelong health and fitness, and build confidence through accomplishment. At each season's conclusion the girls and their running buddies complete a 5k running event. Completing a 5k gives the girls a tangible sense of achievement as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals. The result—making the seemingly impossible, possible and teaching girls that they CAN.

Near the end of the season, each team brainstorms, plans and implements a Community Impact Project. The girls learn that even their little team of young people can make a positive impact on their community.



The 10 week program focuses on building self-esteem and improving emotional and physical health. The girls are empowered with a greater sense of self-awareness, a sense of achievement and a foundation in team building to help them become strong, content and self-confident women.

  • Meets twice a week after school for 90 minutes
  • Girls on the Run for grades 3 to 5
  • Each session led by trained volunteer coaches
  • Group participates in a 5k running/walking event
  • Fall Season: September – December
  • Spring Season: March – June
  • Financial Assistance Available


We envision a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams. 


Girls on the Run honors its core values. We strive to:

  • Recognize our power and responsibility to be intentional in our decision making.
  • Embrace our differences and find strength in our connectedness.
  • Express joy, optimism and gratitude through our words, thoughts and actions.
  • Nurture our physical, emotional and spiritual health.
  • Lead with an open heart and assume positive intent.
  • Stand up for ourselves and others.


Girls on the Run was established in 1996 in Charlotte, North Carolina with the help of thirteen brave girls. What started with one school has grown to over 200 councils in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. 

In 2000 Kathie Tupper brought GOTR to Whatcom County, starting with a single team and growing to six. The Whatcom Family YMCA took the program under its wing in 2006 and GOTR has consistently grown since.  Now reaching every school district in the county and many private schools, Girls on the Run has 25-30 teams (depending on the season) that meet in spring and/or fall.

Most recently our 5Ks bring hundreds of girls and their families together at Lake Padden (spring) or Bloedel Donovan (fall) to run and celebrate the girls’ accomplishments!