7 Reasons Why GOTR 5K’s are One-of-a-Kind

Anyone who has ever attended a Girls on the Run 5K celebration knows that calling the event ‘magical’ is no exaggeration. The joy in the air is palpable. The positive electricity bouncing from person to person is inspiring and energizing. From the moment you step foot into the event site, you are transported to a place where confidence prevails over fear and dreams are made a reality. This is a day where councils throughout each region come together to recognize just how far our participants have come and how far they will continue to go. Everything our girls have been working toward leads to this unforgettable day and, here, they have the chance to show off their hard work.  

For some participants, the 5K itself is the highlight of the day. For others, it is the moment they cross the finish line beside a beloved family member or friend. And for some girls, their favorite part comes before the event even begins when they are getting decked out with temporary tattoos, funky hair styles, colorful face paint, and accessories! 

No two participants who sign up for Girls on the Run are alike. Girls’ interests and passions vary, which is why the multifaceted nature of our celebratory 5K event is so important. At this celebration, every girl takes something unique away from the experience. It is our goal to create a day where all participants – as well as caregivers, family members, community members, and friends – are free to be themselves, open their heart to boundless joy and have the stamina and confidence to cross the finish line. 

Keep reading to see our 7 reasons why GOTR 5Ks are one-of-a-kind! 

The GOTR-ific Signs 

Every 5K season, Girls on the Run supporters create new ways to make us smile, laugh and cheer on with their hand-made signs. Like other gifts, the best signs are customized, and made straight from heart. They reassure girls that their fans believe in them through personalized messages that speak to their soul – or tickles their funny bone.  

Accessorizing for success 

The happy hair station is ALWAYS a fan favorite at any 5K celebration. No matter the location or weather, participants consistently line up to be covered in bright hairspray colors and glitter. This fun station gives participants the chance to step outside of the normal routine and become a rock star for a day. By popping in a little glitter here, a bright color and GOTR accessory there, girls get the boost they need to take their confidence up a notch and make the day sparkle and stand out from any other. 

Coming together as a team 

Prior to the start of the 5K, teams unite for a brief connection, stretch and mini dance/pump-up session. During this time, coaches discuss all the invaluable tools the girls have acquired during the season and how they translate into the day’s events. From there, the teammates – as well as other 5K participants – head over to the starting line together, as a united front, ready to take on the challenge ahead of them. By kicking off the day as a team and community, girls remember they are in this together and have nothing to fear. 

Celebrating with family 

For many families, the 5K celebration has become an annual tradition – or bi-annual if they join us for both the spring and fall seasons! Just as participants spend the season getting ready for the event, family members also prepare for their journey to the finish line. And even if family members do not join girls in the 5K itself, their presence, both before and after the 5K, is enough to be a vital part of a girl’s experience. Signs with inside jokes that bring smiles to your girl’s face, the first hug after the 5K or the pump-up dance before she sets out – these small, but powerful, moments are the blueprints to core memories. 

Dressing (up) for success 

When it comes to 5K attire, we encourage ALL the flare! Upon registering for the program, every girl is given a t-shirt for the 5K celebration, but aside from that, the opportunity to show her uniqueness is infinite! Between tie-dyed socks, capes, neon tutus, bright headbands and t-shirt customizations (hello, fringe!)  the 5K is an event where girls boldly show off their true colors and signature sparkle. Some teams even plan out themed outfits/colors, so they stand out and proudly represent what makes their team special. 

Participating with friends, family or running buddy 

Whether your girl is a seasoned runner or newbie, completing a 5K with a loved one is literally a moving experience. By sticking together when the sweat starts to pour and the going gets tough, girls utilize the team-building lessons they learned throughout the past season. Having someone they trust beside them to occasionally chat, check-in and laugh can make all the difference in the world! Additionally, achieving a goal with someone is an incredible memory to share, one that can deepen relationships and form new bonds.  

Achieving a goal 

Regardless of size or scope, nothing feels better than fulfilling a goal – especially one these participants have been working toward for months.  Throughout each season, girls work together to get ready for the end-of-season 5K and learn ways in which they can elevate their healthy habits, social-emotional wellness and goal-setting skills. Over time, all these components add up and eventually lead kids to experiences where they achieve this dream and discover their unlimited potential. 


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