Girls on the Run + Garmin Forerunner
Girls on the Run is a nonprofit which inspires girls “to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.”

Girls on the Run takes small teams of girls (8-15) and teaches life skills through lessons and running girls. There are 24 lessons, taught by certified Girls on the Run® coaches. At the end of each season, the girls complete a 5k running event. Girls on the Run now serves over 130,000 girls in 200+ cities across North America.

Holabird Sports staffer Emily Jeffries works with Girls on the Run. She's an assistant coach at the Roland Park Country School in Baltimore, the first school in Baltimore City to have a Girls on the Run club.

When Emily first heard about Girls on the Run, she was attracted to the idea of teaching empowerment, positive thinking and living a healthy lifestyle. According to Emily, "The program teaches the girls how to eat healthy, the benefits of exercising, confidence and other important life skills. All these things sounded great and made me want to join right away. I wanted to BE a girl on the run. But since I’m way past middle school age, I had to settle for the next best thing which was to be a coach."

Each Girls on the Run lesson starts with a theme and incorporates running.  As an example, Emily told us about last week's theme, which was Gratitude. "We asked the girls if they knew what gratitude meant and then asked them specifically what and whom they were grateful for. Most answers were parents or siblings, but a couple mentioned their dog or bacon.  To incorporate the running, the girls were handed a sheet of paper with 'gratitude' spelled vertically and a line next to each letter. After each lap the girls completed, they’d write what they were thankful for, starting with the letter ‘g’ and so on. While the girls ran, they thought about their next entry. To make it a little more entertaining, the girls had to shout what they wrote before they started their new lap. I think it might be one of the few times you can randomly shout underwear and get away with it."

Emily's favorite part is hearing what each girl learned and how the lesson made them feel. "It amazes me how smart and insightful these girls are at such a young age. It’s inspiring to hear their comments and see their excitement and eagerness to learn and be a part of the program."

To support Girls on the Run, Garmin and Holabird Sports are offering a $50 trade-in program. From now until July 31, 2013, you can get $50 when you buy a new Garmin Forerunner® and trade-in your old Forerunner®. All trade-ins will be donated to Girls on the Run. All you have to do is download the rebate coupon on the Garmin Forerunner product pages.

Get more information here about the Garmin Forerunner Trade-in Program.