Girls on the Run Long Island, part of a national physical activity-based positive youth development program for 3rd-8th grade girls, had 750 runners participate in its 5K run last fall and expected to surpass 1,000 for this spring’s event scheduled for June 20 on the campus of Hofstra University.
However, in response to Covid-19 and social distancing guidelines, the nonprofit organization will be holding its first virtual 5K to conclude its 10-week program for girls. Registration is free and open to all who wish to participate, said Doreen Dunne, Council Director.
“As we are adjusting to a new way of life for the time being, Girls on the Run continues to provide inspiration, support and joy to our communities and girls during this challenging time,” Dunne said. “In addition to transitioning to a Virtual 5K event, we have mobilized other strategies to drive our mission of inspiring girls to be joyful, healthy and confident.”
With options to complete the 3.1-mile distance at “your place, your pace,” kids and adults alike are welcome to sign up at no cost. The fee for each non-member of the GOTR program is normally $25.
By registering for the run at www.gotrlongisland.org/5k, participants will receive free downloadable goodies, such as a race bib to decorate and a finisher's certificate. GOTR Long Island prize packs will also be raffled off, chosen from those who have registered, on race day.
More information and updates on activities can be found on GOTR Long Island’s social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@gotrlongisland. This will include training for walking or running the 5K, indoor alternatives, and safety tips. The traditional Happy Hair, kid-friendly hair coloring, and Bling Your Bib activities.
“Important to note is these are girls ages 8-11 who train for a 5K over the course of 10 weeks,” Dunne said. ‘We're not a competitive running program but we encourage the girls to keep moving forward so our girls will run or walk the 5K and they all finish beaming with pride. It's an incredible program that builds confidence through accomplishment.”
Participants are encouraged to share their race day photos and videos with GOTR’s social media platforms using the hashtag #GOTRLI5K.
In addition to the virtual race, Girls on the Run has created at Home lessons packaged in a new Power Up Kit which provides fun and interactive lessons that girls and families can do at home, designed specifically for girls in mind. These lessons aim to provide girls of all abilities with an opportunity to learn and grow, just as they would have at their scheduled practices. GOTR at Home lessons are available in an easy-to-follow written format so girls and their grown-ups can participate together and as a YouTube video series specifically for girls. These will be available for purchase June 15-Aug. 1 and shipped directly to homes. Please visit gotrlongisland.org for more details.