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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 


Friday ó May 21, 2004

Arts and Entertainment

Girls on the Run jog 5K

Kids learn lifeís lessons through running


By MEGAN THOMAS
Express Staff Writer

"To me running is a way to celebrate your soul. There is so much it can teach us in life," explained Molly Barker to "Runnerís World" after being nominated by the magazine as an "Our Hero" for founding Girls on the Run. Barkerís positive lessons embedded in running are now being shared with 55 girls of the Wood River Valley, thanks to Girls on the Run of the Wood River Valley, an extension of Barkerís national organization.

Members of the Girls on the Run program take part in last yearís 5K run. Photo by Willy Cook

Under the direction of Shari Kunz, Girls on the Run of the Wood River Valley combines running with life lessons to promote healthy lifestyles for girls in the third, forth and fifth grades. This Saturday, May 22, at 1 p.m., Girls on the Run of the Wood River Valley will celebrate the end of the six-week session with a 5K (3.1 mile) race. The girls will run on the bike path from the Heatherlands to East Fork Road and back. Kunz said Saturdayís anticipated race is the "culmination of the activities."

Over the course of the six-week session the girls meet twice a week with their coaches to participate in sessions that focus on life skills through games, discussions, community service projects and workouts. Kunz said for the girls, these activities "light up their lives."

The activities also light up others lives as the organization promotes community involvement to ingrain self-respect, teamwork, healthy living and the importance of community involvement. For their service project this spring, Girls on the Run chose to participate in the Blaine County Walk-a-Thon to raise money for the Blaine County Senior Center.

The curriculum is part of the national Girls on the Run program, a group with over 30,000 participants in almost 100 communities in the United States and Canada. The group began in 1996 in Charlotte, N.C., as the brainchild of Barker, an accomplished runner and Ironman triathlete. Barkerís vision to use running to reduce at risk behavior in young girls has taken hold across the country.

Over the last two years the Wood River Chapter has also expanded. The group recently obtained its own 501K status, led by board members Kunz, Gretchen Gorham, Dana Monson, Jackie Hennesy, Kerry George and Britta Nelson. Currently, the organization is looking for coaches and volunteers to help with the program.

 

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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.





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