Girls On The Run FAQs

What does Girls on the Run do?

One girl put it this way, "I learned that I am the boss of my brain." Helping girls take charge of their lives and define the future on their terms. You can also think of it as Can University—a place where girls learn that they can. No limits. No constraints. Only opportunities to be remarkable.

How do we play a role in our girls' lives?

Lots of ways, but we start with helping the girls get a better understanding of who they are and what's important to them. Then we look at the role of teams and healthy relationships. And, finally, we explore how girls can positively connect with and shape the world. And remember, we believe that life-changing experiences can be fun too—for everyone—the girls, coaches, families and other volunteers. So don't be surprised when you hear laughter along with self-reflection and see beaming smiles across the beautiful, confident faces of our girls.

What is Girls on the Run?

Girls on the Run is an international non-profit character-development program for pre-adolescent girls (3rd-8th grades) that strengthens girls physically, emotionally, and socially in preparation to face the upcoming pressures of adolescence. Learn more about our Program here.

Who can participate in Girls on the Run/Heart&Sole?

Our program is open to girls of ALL fitness levels and abilities. Girls on the Run is for 3rd-5th graders. Heart & Sole is for 6th-8th graders.

Why the Young Age?

Studies show that girls between the ages of eight and twelve are still receptive to adult influence, while beginning to feel peer pressure. It is a period in our emotional and intellectual development when we become aware of and begin to recognize important life and relationship issues. In addition, learning to value physical activity early in life increases the likelihood of participants staying physically healthy into adulthood. Studies show that those who develop exercise habits by their teen years are most likely to maintain those habits for life. Regular, moderate exercise improves cardiovascular functioning, reduces the risk of developing breast cancer, osteoporosis and obesity and positively counters the effects of depression and anxiety.

What is the attendance policy?

Participation is a twice a week commitment. Please do not register if your girl cannot attend both days. The content of the program is more than just running, so attendance is very important to the integrity of the experience for ALL the participants (both the girl who is absent and the team who is missing her). If a participant is absent more than 4 lessons, she will be dismissed from the program with no refund of program fees.

When are the lessons?

Our council holds Spring and Fall Sessions of the program. The lesson days and times are site specific. Visit the Locations section of our website to view the current sites for our council. The program meets for 90 minutes, 2 days per week, for 10 weeks, ending with the finale of the End of Session Celebratory 5K.

Can you describe a typical lesson?

Each lesson focuses on a specific issue-related topic, which is incorporated into the activities and games planned for the lesson. The coaches begin the lesson by introducing and explaining the day’s topic. The girls then warm up their muscles with a brief interactive running activity or game. Then, the girls stretch and further discuss how the activity related to the topic. Next, the girls perform the workout, which primarily consists of running laps but also integrates the topic of the day. For example, the girls may have to answer a question about the day’s topic each time they complete a lap. The lesson ends with stretching, reviewing what the girls learned that day, a group cheer, and a snack.

Who delivers the program?

Each session is led by trained coaches that volunteer their time to guide and mentor girls through a fun and uplifting program. Coaches are trained in the GOTR curriculum, undergo a background check, and are CPR certified.

Do the girls have to be runners?

No! Girls on the Run is for ALL GIRLS—even those who don’t like to run. The program is non-competitive and focuses on developing healthy, positive self-images in the participants. Girls are encouraged to walk or run the laps during workouts, and all girls progress at their own speed. If your girl is differently-abled and interested in joining the program, contact the site liaison to discuss special arrangements.

Do you have to be a runner to coach?

No! Anyone with a desire to work with girls of this age group, and enjoys (or wants to enjoy ?) physical exercise is welcome to apply to be a volunteer coach. Visit the Volunteer page to learn more about volunteer opportunities.

How much does it cost?

The full cost to Girls on the Run of WNC to provide the program to a girl is $150. We have set up a sliding scale fee structure based on household size & family annual income, to make the program available to all girls.

What does the program fee include?

The program fee includes:

  • 10 weeks and 20 lessons conducted by trained, CPR/FA certified and background checked GOTR coaches
  • Lesson handouts and materials
  • A Girls on the Run t-shirt & water bottle
  • Registration for the Girls on the Run 5k event at the end of session
  • A medal and goody bag at the 5K event
  • End of session certificates and awards
  • Liability Insurance for program participants and coaches

What if I have limited finances?

We do not turn any girl away for inability to pay. If you require a payment plan or fee assistance beyond what our sliding scale offers please contact the GOTR office at: 828-713-3132 or by email:

What about transportation?

Most of our council’s programs take place on school grounds. Transportation is the responsibility of the parent. Communicate with the site liaison regarding site-specific transportation arrangements. If your child will be walking home, we will require parent permission forms to be completed.

Can my daughter repeat the program?

YES! Our curriculum was designed to be used over and over again, with girls new to the program and with girls repeating the program. We also know that what a child experiences and learns in Girls on the Run as a 3rd grader is quite different from what she learns as a 4th or 5th grader. With repetition the depths of learning and the ability of a girl to apply what she learns at each lesson is greater. With experience from one year to the next, returning girls often naturally step into mentoring and leadership roles with the younger girls, which is encouraged.

Can my homeschooled child participate?

YES! We have a few community group sites, and often, a school-hosted site is open to allowing other girls join their program. Visit the Locations section of our website to browse the current site list.

Simple, engaging and extraordinary. The result? Healthy, confident girls who can.