It was a beautiful sunny evening as cars busses and groves of people filed into Binder Park Zoo. The attraction today was not the animals, but over 700 3rd-5th grade girls from Calhoun County. The vibrant spirit in the air matched the bright green of the girls’ shirts and one could definitely feel that this was a special kind of event. Each and every one of these girls would be accomplishing great things today. Today was the culmination of a 12 week program where the girls learned about being joyful, confident and giving while incorporating running. Today was their final 5k and WSI was honored to once again be a part of the event.
As the girls filed into the start corral with their families lining the start line the excitement was overwhelming. The WSI riders rode past making their way to the start and a cheer rose up from the crowd. It was almost time. And what better way to support a Girls on the Run race with a cycling crew of mostly women? (Go girl power!)
The girls shouted out a “boom chicka boom” cheer and the race began. The WSI cyclists led the girls through the zoo, up the paths and boardwalks of Africa and back out into wooded trails all the way to the finish. As the cyclists rode back by signaling that the lead runner was a step behind, the spectators all rose to attention and cheered. Our cyclists did not stop there. They continued to pedal back into the woods riding in, encouraging and cheering on more and more girls until each and every girl had crossed the finish.
Volunteering at events like these is definitely a rewarding experience. Being able to see these girls and the pride and joy on their faces as they cross the finish line will make you want to come back every year, which is exactly what we have done. WSI Cycling has and will proudly support the achievements of our local girls working hard on building healthy lifestyles and self-confidence.
Girls on the Run is so much fun!
For more information about Girls on the Run locally please visit www.gotrofcalhoun.org