WMU News

Benefit 5K run supports 'Girls on the Run'

May 15, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University is among several area sponsors of a women's 5K benefit run to support the Greater Kalamazoo Girls on the Run.

According to Amy Seth, director of University Recreation, about 300 girls participating in the Kalamazoo Girls on the Run program are expected to attend the event Friday, May 31, beginning at 6:45 p.m. at Kanley Track on the WMU campus. Sponsors are encouraging women of all ages to lend both financial and moral support to the youngsters by participating in the 5K benefit run.

The cost of participating in the Girls on the Run 5K benefit is $25 per person with registration by May 27. The registration fee increases to $30 after May 27. Runners may pick up registration forms at the WMU Student Recreation Center or at any of the other sponsoring organizations.

Girls on the Run is a national program that combines training for a 5K running event with self esteem enhancing, uplifting workouts for girls ages 8 to 12. It is designed to educate and prepare young girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living. The objective is to reduce the display of at-risk behaviors and to reduce teen pregnancies, eating disorders, depression and substance abuse.

The program, taught by certified Girls on the Run coaches, encourages girls to create an understanding of themselves and set personal goals while learning skills to get along in a group.

Girls on the Run has been highly successful in the Holland, Mich., area, where 1,000 girls participate at 34 sites. The Holland effort is believed to draw the largest number of participants of any Girls on the Run program in the nation.

The first Girls on the Run program in the Kalamazoo area began recently with about 300 3rd-, 4th- and 5th-grade girls, who train with their coaches twice a week after school at 30 sites around the area. The highlight of the program will be the 5K (3.1 mile) running event and celebration May 31.

For more information, contact Amy Seth at 269 387-3759.

Among the sponsors of the Kalamazoo area program are several WMU offices, including University Recreation, the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics and the WMU Bronson School of Nursing. Other sponsors include Communities in Schools, Fit 5, Gazelle Sports, the Greater Kalamazoo United Way, Kalamazoo City Parks and Recreation, Kalamzoo County Human Services Department, Prevention Works and WMCA.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thomas.myers@wmich.edu

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