Press release from Girls on the Run of Western North Carolina:
Inspire local girls to change the world and celebrate all girls being happy, healthy and confident at the Great Beginnings & Great Smiles Girls on the Run 5k run and walk at Asheville Outlets on Sunday, May 19 at 10 a.m. Chip timing will be provided for the first time to help encourage the WNC community to participate and support empowering local girls to be joyful, healthy and confident.
Hundreds of the participants will be 3rd through 8th grade girls from nine counties in Western North Carolina, who have trained with volunteer coaches at 35 sites as part of 37 teams throughout the region for 10 weeks as part of the Girls on the Run program, which combines running with lessons about important topics such as preventing bullying and processing emotions. The 5k is the culminating event of the spring season.
“We are excited for the community to join us in celebrating with 527 local girls who have been empowered this spring to boldly pursue their dreams and become the leaders of tomorrow,” said Karen Wallace-Meigs, who recently took over as executive director of Girls on the Run of WNC. “Being part of a Girls on the Run 5k is an experience you will not soon forget, and we encourage the Asheville community to join the fun.”
Wallace-Meigs joined Girls on the Run of WNC on May 1, 2019 and will work alongside outgoing executive director Rebecca Tucker, who has resigned to move onto new opportunities, to co-lead the 5k.
“Karen brings with her a wealth of non-profit knowledge, enthusiasm, and passion for our organization’s mission,” said Marlene Frisbee, chair of the Girls on the Run of WNC Board of Directors. “We anticipate a smooth transition and look forward to continuing the good relationships that Rebecca has fostered. We are embracing the change and excited about the future!”
Wallace-Meigs, a mother of two teenage daughters, both alumnae of the Girls on the Run program, has a passion for human rights, particularly for empowering girls. “It is an exciting time to start my tenure, just in time for our spring 5k celebration. It is a great honor to be a part of Girls on the Run of WNC, working with dedicated volunteers and community partners to help girls reach their fullest potential.”
Girls on the Run of Western North Carolina began with 20 girls in 2002 and has now served more than 14,000 girls. In 2018, more than 1,100 girls took part in the life-changing program and learned to believe in their own limitless potential.
The 5k is family-friendly and open to the public. Runners and walkers of all ages and levels are encouraged to register. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Girls on the Run of WNC scholarship fund, which aims to make the non-profit’s program accessible to all girls in the community, regardless of their ability to pay the registration fee.
Online registration is $30 and is available through midnight on Saturday, May 18. Registration will also be open on race day at Asheville Outlets starting at 9 a.m. for $40. Strollers are welcome. Pet are not allowed at the event for safety reasons.
“Instilling self-esteem through life skills development, mentoring relationships and physical activity, Girls on the Run succeeds in changing girls’ lives as they navigate adolescence,” said former executive director Tucker, who has led Girls on the Run of WNC for the past 1.5 years. “The organization is fortunate that Karen Wallace-Meigs was at the right place at the right time in her career to step into the role as executive director. The mission will forever remain in my heart, and I will definitely see you at the 5K!”