From the Salt Lake Tribune, coverage of last weekends “Girls on the Run” 5k held at Sugar House Park:
Girls on the Run participants race at Sugar House Park
By Lauren Lombardi
Tribune community contributor
After learning how to appreciate girlhood and individuality, girls from more than 15 elementary schools came to Sugar House Park on Saturday to celebrate with a 5k run.
Among those were two excited friends from Ensign Elementary School in Salt Lake City, Grace Metos, 13, and Emma Workman, 12. Grace and Emma met last year in a class at school that mixes grade levels, and they also play soccer together. Last year Grace participated in the Girls on the Run program with Emma, but was too old to participate this year. Grace decided to come back for the race so she could run alongside her friend.
“Girls on the Run is not just about running, it’s about how to be healthy,” Grace said.
“That and how everyone supports you,” added Emma. The two were very excited for the race. Their goal? To finish together in less than 40 minutes.
While anticipation for the race grew, hair stations and face painting stations were set up for the girls to get glamorous. In the background, local group School of Rock played.
When it came time to stretch as a group, awards were given out, including the Team Spirit award that was given to students from Morningside Elementary, who called themselves the Morningside Bananas and all matched in yellow T-shirts.
The race began at 9 a.m., and everyone headed out to run two laps around Sugar House Park. Within 20 minutes, the first runners started approaching the finish line, but the emphasis wasn’t on times or places, it was on celebrating the power of being a girl, something in which everyone was a winner.
“Girls on the Run brings out the best in these girls,” said Trish French, a coach from Butler Elementary School. “It brings so much goodness to them and they are proud of themselves.” She has loved coaching this season and said she had goose bumps during many of the activities, which had the girls saying and doing things they wouldn’t have on their own.
Mountainview Elementary School fifth-grader Carol Rodriguez, who has been keeping us informed on her experience with her journals this session, had a huge smile on her face. “It was fun,” she said. “It was super better than last year. I improved on my running.”
Grace and Emma were thrilled to meet their goal and finished in 38 minutes. “It was fun to run with someone you know really well,” Grace said. The two weren’t tired, and were getting ready to head to their soccer game. Both said they want to come back and run again next year even though they will be too old for the program.
“Everyone should do Girls on the Run,” Emma said. “Well — unless they’re a boy!” added Grace.