Girls on Run Finishes Spring Program; Gears Up for Fall

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The community “raced” to support the nearly 160 elementary girls participating in the Girls on the Run 5k at the Tucson Medical Center campus on April 22.

Representatives from the Aetna Foundation, which provides generous financial support for the program, made the pre-dawn drive from Phoenix to be on hand to cheer the girls on. Firefighters broke out the hoses to cool of the girls as they completed the 3.1 mile race. The girls visited hair-painting stations and warmed up with a little zumba before teaming up with running buddies to finish the culminating race of the spring program.

Tucson Medical Center has taken the lead on the program, which launched in 2009 to encourage girls ages 8 through 11 to develop healthy lifestyles through running. The Aetna Foundation’s Frank Benedetto said his company is pleased to sponsor the program, which offers another race in the fall.

“Children today are at significant risk of being overweight or obese and suffering the long-term health effects of obesity-related diseases,” Benedetto said.

“Girls on the Run has an impressive track record in helping young girls, especially girls at risk, grow up to be healthy adults by adopting regular physical activity and healthy eating at a young age,” he said. 

With additional assistance from Everyone Runs, Pima County Department of Transportation and Fleet Feet Sports, program provides 12 weeks of training as well as lessons about self-esteem, dealing with peer pressure and resolving conflicts.

The Arizona Daily Star featured photographs of the Girls on the Run race in their April 26 East Side zones edition.

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Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461
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