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Hundreds of local students take part in Girls on the Run 5K

| May 24, 2023 12:00 AM

More than 450 girls, spectators, volunteers and community members gathered on Sunday, May 21 for the Girls on the Run Flathead Valley celebratory 5K event, the culminating moment of the Girls on the Run season, aptly called the Super Power 5K.

Donning brightly colored capes and masks, girls from nine elementary and middle schools across the Valley (including Edgerton Elementary School, Helena Flats Elementary School, Muldown Elementary School, Elrod Elementary School, Hedges Elementary School, Rankin Elementary School, Helena Flats Junior High School and Kalispell Middle School), as well as girls from the Boys and Girls Club of Flathead Reservation and Lake County in Ronan, gathered together at Edgerton Elementary School to celebrate the culmination of the spring Girls on the Run season.

Newly crowned Miss Montana Madyson Rigg, a Kalispell native and Glacier High School Alum, joined the girls to count down the race and handed out medals as they crossed the finish line.

Now, coming on the heels of their largest season ever recorded, Girls on the Run Flathead Valley has announced a change of name and planned expansion for the local nonprofit organization to Girls on the Run Western Montana.

Approved as an independent council of Girls on the Run International in March 2016 and rolled out to schools in spring of 2017, the program has served more than 1,250 girls since. Now, the organization is looking to expand, with the goal of continuing to serve and impact girls in Flathead and Lake Counties, while proposing expansion to other areas across Western Montana.

“We see, daily, the impact the Girls on the Run program has in the lives of elementary and middle school-aged girls,” said Kim Holloway, GOTR Western Montana Council Director. “We’re honored to be able to expand the program across Western Montana with the goal of serving more girls, including rural and underserved communities, and inspiring them all to be joyful, healthy and confident.”

Girls on the Run is a nationally known physical activity-based, positive youth development program that uses fun running games and dynamic discussions to teach life skills to girls in 3rd - 8th grades. During the 10-week program, girls participate in lessons that foster confidence, build peer connections and encourage community service while they prepare for the end-of-season celebratory 5K event.

This season, more than 27 trained volunteer coaches facilitated the curriculum to 10 teams of girls, helping equip them with the physical and emotional skills necessary to carry them over the 5K finish line.

For more information about Girls on the Run, including how to register a girl or get involved, visit www.gotrwesternmt.org or contact Kyna Williams at kyna.williams@girlsontherun.org.