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Miles and Miles: The Final Countdown

December 21, 2010

GOTR Atlanta Fall 2010 RaceWith cries of “You did great!” and “You beat your time!”, dozens of young girls from grades 3rd through 8th, crossed the finish line in Kirkwood Park for the 3rd Annual Fall 2010 New Balance Girls on the Run Atlanta 5k. Hundreds of volunteers, runners, and parents converged upon Kirkwood Park on November 14, 2010 for the event.

We witnessed the participants going above and beyond by improving their times! After the race, there were a lot of hugs and high-fives because everyone did tremendous. Our English 1101 class from Georgia Gwinnett College went to the 5K to gather information. We partnered, for the semester, with the Girls on the Run Organization as part of a service learning project.

While the runners rested after the race, we took a walk to interview some of the runners and their parents. After talking with them our class discovered that each runner gained different values from Girls on the Run(GOTR). They expressed pride in their accomplishments, shared new goals they set for themselves. Many of the girls expressed anticipation to return next season.

We interviewed ten runners after the race. Each of them had accomplished something great and were more than willing to share about their experience. Returning runners improved their times from the previous season, setting a new Personal Record. Mariam exclaimed, “I beat my time by four minutes!” Olivia, a three year GOTR participant, also beat her time. She says, “I am proud of myself!” Overall, the girls had a blast and learned new things. Olivia and Mariam plan to return next season with a new accomplishment.

George is a parent of one of the girls who is a participant of this excellent program. He ran with his daughter and believes that she “gained an appreciation to physical activity. The encouragement from the coach and her friends is something positive.” Parent involvement also helps push the girls towards success.

Angela Freeman, one of the coaches from High Meadows Elementary School, says ”I love it! We’ve coached four seasons now. We have a blast!” She loves coaching and believes the girls gain confidence through this program. Within the GOTR organization, many young girls are directed towards a bright future with the help of their coaches.

The closing race was a huge success! Runners felt an overwhelming sense of pride as they crossed the finish line. We hope to see all new and veteran faces of GOTR next year for spring season 2011.

Contributed by the writing class of Georgia Gwinnett College

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