Girls on the Run 5k ‘Fun Run’ Brings Participants (and Their Families) From Across the Western Slope to Town
TELLURIDE – On Saturday, Nov. 10, 250 girls will run through Telluride Town Park and west along the River Trail, in Telluride’s first-ever Girls on the Run 5k “Fun Run.”
Teams of girls ages 8-12 from Durango, Pagosa Springs, Dolores, Nucla, Naturita, Norwood, and Telluride, who all began their twice-a-week after-school training sessions when school started earlier this year, will gather at the Frances Warner Field, in town park, 9:30-10 a.m.
The nationwide Girls on the Run developmental youth sports program, headquartered in Fairfax, Va., is “committed to providing pre-adolescent girls with the necessary tools to embrace their individual strengths as they enter middle and high school.” Founded in 1996, it has now grown to the Independent Council of Girls on the Run International, with a network of nearly 200 locations across the U.S. and Canada.
Its mission is to “inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running,” and its core values include teaching girls to “power and responsibility,” “intentional decision-making” and to embrace differences “and find strength in our connectedness.”
Upon signing in on Saturday, the 250 girls “get their race numbers and their race swag,” including long-sleeve T-shirts and beanies, says event organizer Nicole Stone-Lankes.
Stone-Lankes, who coordinates Girls on the Run programs for San Miguel County, organized its first chapter three years ago, after seeing her first Girls on the Run event in Montrose. Each participant pays $50, for ten weeks of twice-weekly training sessions that culminate in the this weekend’s race.
Stone-Lankes has been busy, in recent weeks, gathering local discounts for racers and their families, including hotel room rentals ranging for $69-100.
On Saturday, from 10-11 a.m., the young athletes will do practice warm-ups and laps, with “energy awards” at the end of each warm-up for “those girls who do something outstanding,” says Stone-Lankes, from “going up to a person who’s having a bad day, for example, or saying, ‘Good job – way to go!’ more than the other girls.”
Before the start of the event, coaches will lead athletes in adrenaline-building cheers along the lines of “Peel Bananas, Eat Bananas, Go Bananas!” says Stone-Lankes, with the trademark enthusiasm she brings to her work as a personal trainer and owner of 8750ALT, the Telluride Gym.
And then they’re off, starting with a loop around Town Park, and then heading west on the San Miguel River Trail, girls an
Posters advertising the event emphasize that anyone wanting “to run, walk or skip to the finish line” is welcome to participate.
For more information, visit gotrwesterncolorado.org, or call Stone-Lankes at 970/708-0721.