Girls on The Run of Ottawa and Allegan Counties first season was in the Spring of 2001. Dressed in matching neon green t-shirts, nearly 400 girls, ages 8-12, from 13 local schools, ran and completed the areas first “Girls on the Run” 5k run. Each girl wore the “#1” on her race bib, signifying the lesson communicated by the program, that every girl is a winner. Also during the fall of 2001, the ten-week Girls on Track (a sister program to Girls on The Run that was developed for 6-8th grade girls) was piloted in four local middle schools with 111 sixth graders enrolled.
The first local Girls on the Run program was coordinated by an individual funded through the local Intermediate School District, and supported by staff of a number of other community agencies. After the first year of the program, The Center for Women in Transition agreed to be the fiduciary for the program assuming that all partner organizations would participate in securing needed funding.
Girls on the Run has grown remarkably since 2001. Spring of 2005 was our largest year, with over 1,800 girls participating. In 2008, our Girls on the Run program was the fourth largest in the country. With over 75 schools participating, and 1,600 runners this year, this program has become a life changing experience for all the girls, families and volunteers involved.