Girls on the Run Circles Stark & Wayne County, Ohio
Girls on the Run Team in Tutus

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Frequently Asked Questions

What does Girls on the Run do?

One girl put it this way, "I learned that I am the boss of my brain." Helping girls take charge of their lives and define the future on their terms. You can also think of it as Can University—a place where girls learn that they can. No limits. No constraints. Only opportunities to be remarkable.

How do we play a role in our girls' lives?

Lots of ways, but we start with helping the girls get a better understanding of who they are and what's important to them. Then we look at the role of teams and healthy relationships. And, finally, we explore how girls can positively connect with and shape the world. And remember, we believe that life-changing experiences can be fun too—for everyone—the girls, coaches, families and other volunteers. So don't be surprised when you hear laughter along with self-reflection and see beaming smiles across the beautiful, confident faces of our girls.


Why the Young Age?

Studies show that girls between the ages of eight and twelve are still receptive to adult influence, while beginning to feel peer pressure.  It's an age psychologists call the latency period of development when girls begin to confront important life and relationship issues.  As a prevention program, Girls on the Run initiates healthy decision making about difficult issues and really talking to their parents/caretakers before it's too late.

In addition, learning healthy exercise habits early in life increases the chances that participants will value their own physical fitness as adults. Recent studies show that only those who develop exercise habits in their teen years or earlier are likely to maintain those habits for life. It's well documented that regular, moderate exercise improves cardiovascular functioning, and reduces the risk of developing breast cancer, osteoporosis (brittle bones), and obesity. In addition, girls of this age are more open to the positive peer influences, positive adult role models and the confidence enhancing which are all parts of the GOTR experience.

A variation of the Girls on the Run program—Heart & Sole (formerly Girls on Track)— has proven positive with middle school participants.


Is it safe for young girls to run the 5k (3.1 mile) distance?

"Children's bodies are well suited for endurance exercise, and numerous studies have shown that children show many positive physiological adaptation to endurance exercise training.  The keys are gradual progression and common-sense adult supervision.  If those conditions are met, running 3 miles is a reasonable goal for most young people."

From Russell R. Pate, Ph.D. with the Department of Exercise Science at the University of South Carolina

When does your season start?

Each year we announce program locations in early January (spring) and August (fall). Registration opens February 1 (spring) and August 15 (fall), and programs begin in early March (spring) and early September (fall). Registration will now be held through a lottery process. Girls will be notified of their team immediately following the close of registration.

Do girls have to be runners?

No. Girls on the Run is for everyone—even those who don’t like to run. The program is noncompetitive and focuses on developing a healthy attitudes and habits. Girls are encouraged to walk, run, or skip the laps during the workouts. We only require girls to move forward with their best effort and a positive attitude.

What if a girl is unable to pay the tuition fee?

GOTR of Stark County is committed to ensuring the program is affordable and accessible to all girls, regardless of their family’s ability to pay. We offer income-based rates for all families, and additional financial aid for those who need it.


What is the refund policy?

GOTR of Stark County will refund the the full program registration amount of tuition minus a $10 processing fee if the refund is requested in writing before the season begins. A prorated refund is available through the first week. After that, no refunds will be processed.

5k registration fees are nonrefundable.

Can I run with my daughter?

Yes! We highly recommend that every girl is accompanied on the 5k course by a registered female runner. You must be a registered participant with a race bib. In the running community, people that jump in along the route with no official registration are known as “bandits.” A lot of expense goes into hosting a 5k. Jumping in without registering amounts to theft of services. More importantly, those with no signed waiver put GOTR of Stark County at considerable liability risk. Finally, space on the trail is a consideration for safety and supply purposes so it’s important that we’re able to regulate the number of participants on the course.

Will my daughter get a medal?

Only girls who have completed the Girls on the Run program and 5k this season will receive a medal. The medal signifies completing the entire program, not just the 5k. We only purchase enough for our GOTR girls and need to be sure that they each receive one.


"I learned what to do when people are bullying you."


2012 GOTR Stark Participant

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