FAQ - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT IS GIRLS ON THE RUN?

We are an empowerment program for girls in 3rd-5th grade—giving them skills and experiences to navigate their world confidently and to unleash their limitless potential!

We teach girls life skills through a curriculum of engaging lessons and fun running activities. At each season’s conclusion, the girls complete a celebratory 5k run that gives them a lifelong memory of accomplishment.


WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF GIRLS ON THE RUN?

We inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. 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 honor its core values. We strive to:

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


HOW CAN I BE INVOLVED WITH GIRLS ON THE RUN?

Girls on The Run is run almost exclusively by volunteers. We are always in need of interested parties to volunteer as coaches or volunteer on race day. If you have any interest please contact sstone@whatcomymca.org


HOW OLD DOES MY DAUGHTER HAVE TO BE TO PARTICIPATE?

Girls that are interested in participating must be in 3rd, 4th or 5th grade.  6th graders are included at elementary schools that go through 6th grade.


WHERE CAN MY DAUGHTER PARTICIPATE?

We offer the program at schools across Whatcom County, click here to learn where. Running a program at a specific school is dependent on the ability to secure volunteer coaches, and to garner enough interest in the student population to meet minimum participation needs.  If you would like to start a team at your school, contact Sharon at sstone@whatcomymca.org 


HOW DO I REGISTER?

Registration can be done in person at your local YMCA or online on our registration page.


WHAT ARE THE LESSONS LIKE?

The Girls on the Run lessons encourage positive emotional, social, mental and physical development.  Participants explore and discuss their own beliefs around experiences and challenges girls face at this age.  They also develop important strategies and skills to help them navigate life experiences. We start with helping the girls get a better understanding of who they are and what’s important to them.  Then, we look at the importance of team work and healthy relationships.  And, finally, the girls explore how they can positively connect with and shape the world. Physical activity is woven into our program to inspire an appreciation of fitness and to build habits that lead to a lifetime of health.  At the end of each three month session, the girls participate in a Girls on the Run 5k event.  This celebratory, non-competitive event is the culminating experience of the curriculum.  


WHY IS THERE A COST?

GOTR is not your typical sports program.  Although, we’ve had questions about the expense, we’ve never had anyone whose daughter has participated say that they didn’t get their money’s worth.  Here’s a glimpse into some of the hard cost items that determine the price of the program.

  • Curriculum
     
  • Coach Training and background checks
     
  • GOTR International Fees
     
  • Program Supplies, including snacks
     
  • Race Costs (facility rental, permits and supplies)
     
  • Facility Fees
     
  • 5K Medals
     
  • Program T-shirt
     
  • Practice 5K event supplies
     
  • Volunteer & Coach Appreciation
     
  • End of Season Team celebrations


WHAT LEVEL OF COMMUNICATION SHOULD I RECEIVE FROM THE SCHOOL/COACH?

You should receive at least one weekly email from Girls on the Run.


WHY IS THERE A MINIMUM AND MAXIMUM FOR TEAM SIZE?

The minimum participation for a team to run is 8 girls. The lesson and activities that are included in the lesson have the greatest efficacy if they are carried out in larger numbers. GOTR International recommends a minimum of 8 girls to get the most out of the program. The experience for girls and coaches is best when teams stay at or below the 17 child maximum.


WHY DOES MY SCHOOL NOT HAVE THE PROGRAM?

We are completely reliant on volunteer coaches. If we are able to identify 2 coaches for a school site we can run the program at that school.


CAN MY CHILD PARTICIPATE EVEN IF MY SCHOOL DOES NOT HAVE THE PROGRAM?

Yes. You are welcome to join a team at a nearby school if your school does not offer the program. 


IS THERE FINANCIAL AID AVAILABLE?

Financial aid is available. Please contact Jen or Sharon at 360-255-0517 or jgallant@whatcomymca.org or sstone@whatcomymca.org  


WHAT IS A RUNNING BUDDY AND WHY DO GIRLS NEED ONE?

A running buddy is family member, relative or friend over the age of 15 who runs with the Girls on the Run or Trailblazer participant in the 5K. The Running Buddy stays with their runner(s) for the entire run to keep them on track and to CHEER them through the finish line!


DOES THE RUNNING BUDDY HAVE TO PAY FOR THE RACE?

Yes. The running buddy is required to register for the race. The cost is $15 and helps cover costs incurred by the event.   Program participants and volunteer coaches DO NOT need to pay the registration fee.  Financial assistance is available for registration.