Who We Are

  • GOTR Social

About Girls on the Run

Girls on the Run of Spartanburg is an independent council of Girls on the Run International. We are a diverse group of men and women who empower young girls of Spartanburg County to live active, healthy lives.

We are a non-profit organization run by a Board of Directors and operated with minimal staff.

We are not all runners, not all women and do not all have children, but what we do have in common is a belief that we can use the tools of running to make young girls feel special and confident.

Our coaches are all volunteers. They are teachers, professional women, college students, moms, dads and socially engaged community members. Our coaches are not all runners either and many of them train with the girls for their own first 5K.

We are aware of the difficulties young girls face physically, emotionally, spiritually and developmentally and we believe GOTR addresses the whole girl in a meaningful way.

We strive to reverse all of the negative statistics about Spartanburg County one girl at a time and we know that we can positively influence change with this program.

Who We Are

Girls on the Run International

Welcome to Girls on the Run! – a life-changing, non-profit program for girls in the 3rd through 8th grade. Our mission is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running."

The 24-lesson Girls on the Run curriculum combines training for a 5K (3.1 miles) running event with lessons that inspire girls to become independent thinkers, enhance their problem solving skills and make healthy decisions. All of this is accomplished through an active collaboration with girls and their parents, schools, volunteers, staff, and the community.

Girls on the Run is an Independent Council of Girls on the Run International, which has a network of 200+ locations across the United States and Canada. Girls on the Run® is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.

Meeting twice a week in small teams of 8-15 girls, we teach life skills through dynamic, conversation-based lessons and running games. The 24-lesson curriculum is taught by certified Girls on the Run coaches and includes three parts: understanding ourselves, valuing relationships and teamwork and understanding how we connect with and shape the world at large.

Running is used to inspire and motivate girls, encourage lifelong health and fitness, and build confidence through accomplishment. At each season's conclusion, the girls and their running buddies, complete a 5k running event. Completing a 5k gives the girls a tangible sense of achievement as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals. The result—making the seemingly impossible, possible and teaching girls that they can.

What We Do

12 weeks. 24 lessons. 700,000 girls and counting.

So what does Girls on the Run do?

One girl put it this way, "I learned that I am the boss of my brain." Girls on the Run inspires girls to take charge of their lives and define the future on their terms. It’s a place where girls learn that they can. No limits. No constraints. Only opportunities to be remarkable.

How do we do it?

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.

Me + Relationships + Community

Meeting twice a week in small teams of 8-20 girls, we teach life skills through fun, engaging lessons that celebrate the joy of movement. The 24-lesson curriculum is taught by certified Girls on the Run® coaches and includes three parts: understanding ourselves, valuing relationships and teamwork and understanding how we connect with and shape the world at large. Over the course of the program, girls will develop and improve competence, feel confidence in who they are, develop strength of character, respond to others and oneself with care and compassion, create positive connections with peers and adults, and make a meaningful contribution to community and society.

Power through Service

Acknowledging that accomplishment has many flavors, each team creates and executes a local community service project. This experience demonstrates to girls the unimaginable strength that comes from helping others.

Up and Running

At each season's conclusion, the girls and their running buddies complete a 5k running event. In some cities this is a large, community wide event and in others, it's an inspiring gathering of friends and family. Completing a 5k gives the girls a tangible sense of achievement as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals. The results are the same—making the seemingly impossible, possible.

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

Our History

How Girls on the Run Began

Girls on the Run® was established in 1996 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Girls on the Run® curricula, the heart of the program, provides pre-adolescent girls with the necessary tools to embrace their individual strengths and successfully navigate life experiences. The earliest version of the 24¬ lesson curriculum was piloted in 1996 with the help of thirteen brave girls. Twenty-six girls came the next season, then seventy-five. In 2000, Girls on the Run International, a 501c3 organization was born.

With the help of over 55,000 volunteers, the Girls on the Run program is now serving over 130,000 girls in 200+ cities across North America each year. In 2012, Girls on the Run hosted 253 end-of-season 5k events across the United States and Canada. Girls on the Run has been featured in many media outlets including People, Runner’s World, Redbook, Women’s Day, O Magazine, Fitness Magazine, Self Magazine, Glamour, Shape, Marie Claire, Parenting, Running Times, CNN, MSNBC, ABC News, NBC News, NPR and ESPN.

The true success of the program, however, is not told in the numbers, but rather in the words of the girls who participate. “Girls on the Run made me realize that I am the boss of my brain.” “I know that whatever I set my mind to do, I can do.” “At Girls on the Run I learned how to be comfortable in my own skin!” That is success.


Board of Directors

Aundie Bishop
Foothills Anesthesia Consultants 

Greg Colbath
Mary Black Physicians Group 

Chris Couchell
Comfort Keepers

Kevin Coleman
Spartanburg High School 

Cassandra Davis
Spartanburt School District 2

Witney Fisher
Spartanburg Community College 

Anisha Foster
Berkshire Hathaway 

Lindsey Graham
Partners for Active Living 

Ricaye Harris
Milliken 

Nita Lawrence
Armoire 

Jennifer Parker
USC Upstate

Ashley Reynolds
Ricoh Americas USA

Lynze Roos
Wofford College 

Angie Starrett
USC Upstate

Executive Committee

Laura Henthorn, Chair
Mark III Properties, Inc.

Celerra Fowler, Vice Chair
United Way
cierra.fowler@girlsontherun.org

Bob Boyle, Treasurer
bob.boyle@girlsontherun.org

Meg Lee, Secretary
Spartanburg School District 7

Staff

Mary Ann Cleland, Council Director
maryann.cleland@girlsontherun.org