Welcome to Girls on the Run! – a life-changing, non-profit program for girls in the 3rd through 8th grade. Our mission is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.
The 24-lesson Girls on the Run curriculum combines training for a 5K (3.1 miles) running event with lessons that inspire girls to become independent thinkers, enhance their problem solving skills and make healthy decisions. All of this is accomplished through an active collaboration with girls and their parents, schools, volunteers, staff, and the community.
Girls on the Run® is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.
Meeting twice a week in small teams of 8-20 girls, we teach life skills through dynamic, conversation-based lessons and running games. The 24-lesson curriculum is taught by certified Girls on the Run coaches and includes three parts: understanding ourselves, valuing relationships and teamwork and understanding how we connect with and shape the world at large.
Running is used to inspire and motivate girls, encourage lifelong health and fitness, and build confidence through accomplishment. At each season's conclusion, the girls and their running buddies, complete a 5k running event. Completing a 5k gives the girls a tangible sense of achievement as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals. The result—making the seemingly impossible, possible and teaching girls that they can.
We inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.
We envision a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.
Our Core Values
Girls on the Run honors its core values. We strive to:
How Girls on the Run Began
Girls on the Run International was established in 1996 in Charlotte, North Carolina by Molly Barker. What started with thirteen girls in one school has grown to over 200 councils in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. With the help of almost 100,000 volunteers, Girls on the Run served nearly 180,000 girls in 2015, including our millionth girl! Girls on the Run continues to grow and currently hosts more than 350 end-of-season 5k events across the United States, making the Girls on the Run 5k series the largest in the country. Girls on the Run has also expanded to include middle school girls through Heart & Sole, a program dedicated to the unique needs of adolescent girls.
Upon reading about the national Girls on the Run program in the June, 2002 issue of Runner’s World magazine, founder of the Wood River Valley Girls on the Run Shari Kunz could not let go of the power the program would provide to young girls in the Wood River Valley. By August, the first session of 14 girls was up and running under the umbrella of the St. Luke’s Women’s Health and Fitness Celebration. Girls on the Run of the Wood River Valley obtained it’s 501c3 non-profit status in July, 2003 and became its own independent council of the national Girls on the Run organization and consistently runs over 150 girls through the program each year.
Girls on the Run of the Wood River Valley is an Independent council of Girls on the Run International, which has a network of over 200 councils across 50 states and the District of Columbia. Girls on the Run of the Wood River Valley was established in 2002 to Blaine County, Idaho.
Mary Fauth, Executive Director
Board of Directors
Amber Larna, Chair
Paris Nicholson, Vice-Chair
Angenie McCleary, Treasurer
Michelle Casas, Youth Advocate
Amy Cantrell, Youth Advocate
Ellie Gorham, Youth Advocate
Sarah Truxal, Youth Advocate
Our program could be possible without the volunteer coaches that implement it every season. We have approximately 16-18 men and women that commit 3 hours + per week during the 10-week fall and spring seasons. We'd like to acknowledge our long time returning coaches in recent years: Danielle Walker, Amber Larna, Sarah Bennett, Vieve Stoesz, Sarah Dugas, Colleen Quindlen, Alex Taylor, Sara Burns, Gwen Thompson, Steve Thompson, Jodie Taylor, Emily Watts, Julie Bell, Marlin Valdivia, Hilary Sinnamon, Julie Konton, Cara Liberatore, Sara Shafer, and our founder Shari Kunz!
Amber Larna, Chair
Angenie McCleary, Chair
Color Me Fearless 5k*
Paris Nicholson, Chair
Lunafest Film Festival*
Aliki Russo, Chair
* We would gladly accept interested individuals to help with these committees
Girls on the Run International is proud to partner with the sponsors listed below as we work to deliver our life-changing program to more than 120,000 girls each year. These companies are vital to advancing our mission and provide financial, in-kind and volunteer support while leveraging their brand's assets to raise awareness about the program across North America.
When word got out that there was a group of young girls running around the nation together, challenging themselves every week to grow stronger as athletes and as people, and approaching their goals with focus, passion and grace, there was no question: ASICS had to hop on their path and run right alongside them.
ASICS was founded on the humble idea that sports have the power to transform lives and bring communities together through the universal language of movement. Nearly sixty years later, the synergies between this fundamental company vision and the mission of Girls On the Run has inspired ASICS to become the exclusive National Footwear Sponsor for the organization. By offering footwear, hosting local chapter events and providing on-going financial contributions to the program, ASICS is thrilled support their lifetime journey toward a happier, healthier and more balanced life through running. www.asics.com
Cigna is proud to be the exclusive health care sponsor of Girls on the Run. The company’s mission is to help people improve their health, well-being and sense of security, and child wellness is a key part of that mission. Girls on the Run was named the first recipient of the Cigna Foundation’s World of Difference Grants, a program that awards funding to nonprofits that are committed to improving health equity in the area's of children’s wellness, senior care and women’s health. The grant has enabled Girls on the Run to increase the number of participants in the program throughout the United States and potentially expand the program internationally. With support from Cigna, Girls on the Run will also distribute more than 200 scholarships to girls at schools across the country allowing them to participate in the program and the celebratory 5K runs.
A global health service company headquartered in Bloomfield, Conn., Cigna has 35,000 employees worldwide, many of whom volunteer with Girls on the Run. To learn more about Cigna, including links to follow the company on Facebook and Twitter, visit www.cigna.com.
Fox Sports Supports
FOX Sports Supports is a program of FOX Sports dedicated to serving the nonprofit community. They understand that with great success comes great recognition and even greater responsibility. Giving back is not only important to the program but to its employees. In 2016 FOX Sports Supports will dedicate time, money and resources to Girls on the Run through a variety of support including PSA’s, in game graphics, event activations, talent involvement and more. Visit www.foxsports.com
Gamma Phi Beta
Gamma Phi Beta Sorority is the exclusive National Panhellenic Conference Girls on the Run National Sponsor. Our philanthropic focus, Building Strong Girls, gives girls the confidence to dream big. We inspire the female leaders of tomorrow. For nearly a century, Gamma Phi Beta has committed to improving the lives of young girls by not only building stronger girls but stronger communities through them. As a National Sponsor, Gamma Phi Beta Sorority provides support to Girls on the Run through financial contributions at the local and international level and hands-on local support from our extensive and passionate membership throughout the U.S. and Canada. Visit www.gammaphibeta.org.
SmartWool is a National 5k Partner and the official sock of the Girls on the Run 5k Series. Based in Steamboat Springs, CO, SmartWool is an apparel brand whose products are inspired by living and playing in the mountains. SmartWool upholds strong values around high performance products, conscience business ethics and affecting a positive change in the world through volunteer service and their SmartWool Advocacy Fund. They believe that the future of the planet rests on healthy, active kids. That’s why their Advocacy Fund supports Girls on the Run and other organizations committed to getting kids outside through responsible recreational opportunities. Visit www.smartwool.com.
Thirty-One Gifts is one of the world’s largest direct-selling companies, committed to celebrating, encouraging and rewarding others for who they are, offering purses, wallets, totes, home organization solutions, jewelry and more. With a mission to help women by giving them the opportunity to own their own business, we are a company with a compassionate heart, comprised of a family of individuals who share a passion for building confident girls and women. Through our charitable program, Thirty-One Gives, we have a commitment to changing the alarming statistic that a girl’s self-esteem peaks at the age of 9. We are excited to support Girls on the Run and work together to change that statistic and build confident girls. Visit www.thirtyonegifts.com
The Wood River Valley program is supported by organizations such as:
*In addition to the businesses starred above, the following businesses also support us through sponsoring our annual Color Me Fearless 5k, Lunafest and Solemate events: Kevin McMinn DMD, Sun Valley Appraisal, Sun Valley Sotheby's International Realty, Dave Hennessy/Quigley Canyon, Sturtos Hailey, Wood River Insurance, Statefarm Insurance, Jivaro Headhunting, Sun Valley Company, Smiles4Kids, BigLife Magazine, Rocky Mountain Hardware, Power Engineers, Hailey Paint, KECH/KSKI/STAR 98 Radio, The Village Market, Clear Mind Graphics, and the Elephant's Perch.