When it comes to running, anything you can do, the school-aged girls who participate in Girls on the Run can do better — with some old-fashioned community support.
Asheville regulars and even some out-of-towner visitors showed up to Twin Leaf Brewery for the Run Like a Girl event on Monday, May 25, with $5 donations, donning everything from pink tutus to kilts and bandanas. The goal was to run three miles downtown in support of Girls on the Run, a physical-activity based program for girls in third through fifth grade.
Following the run, Twin Leaf Brewery released a bright pink hibiscus wit beer, which co-owner Stephanie Estela described as “tart and refreshing.” A strawberry-basil beer Twin Leaf had planned to release at the Run Like A Girl event apparently didn’t work out.
Estela says running changed her life when she started two or three years ago, so supporting the 33 Western North Carolina schools participating in Girls on the Run only made sense to her. “It’s so wonderful because they encourage young girls to have confidence through running,” she says. “That worked for me.”
Executive director Amy Renigar, who attended the event at Twin Leaf, says Girls on the Run teaches girls “self-respect, confidence, character, competition and connection” in 12 weeks with 24 lessons while also training them to compete in a 5K. In fact, 1,200 runners — over 500 of whom were girls — met at UNC Asheville on May 16 to compete in Western North Carolina’s Girls on the Run 5K.
“They ran in the rain, which I thought was amazing,” says Kavis Roberts, a Girls on the Run coach at Sand Hill-Venable Elementary who was also at the Twin Leaf event. “That shows tenacity.” Roberts adds that when some of her girls finished the race before their teammates, they ran another lap to cross the finish line with their friends.