Who run the world? Girls!

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Main Street Treadmill Challenge raises more than $2,500 for Girls on the Run program

By Stevie Lowery

“If you think a minute goes by really fast, you’ve never been on a treadmill.” -Unknown
Unless, that is, your treadmill is on Main Street and Santa Claus is on the treadmill next to you.
That was the scene Friday in front of the Marion County Heritage Center during The Lebanon Enterprise’s 2013 Main Street Treadmill Challenge.
Yes, Santa Claus himself, dressed in red shorts and a t-shirt, showed up and worked up a sweat on a treadmill. Heck, he walked two miles in his winter boots, for goodness sakes! It definitely wasn’t something you’re used to seeing on Main Street in Lebanon in June, that’s for sure. But, people walking and running on treadmills lined up on Main Street isn’t something you see every day, either. And that’s what I love about this event. It’s unique. It promotes health and wellness in our community. And, it raises funds for Marion County Girls on the Run.
More than 35 people laced up their tennis shoes and kept our treadmills moving from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., when the skies opened up and the rain fell. While I hate that it rained, we still managed to raise a considerable amount of money. Girls on the Run received one dollar (or more) for every minute someone walked or ran on our treadmills. And, similar to last year’s event, we had local business people and citizens walk up to us off the street during the event and hand us donations. So far, the grand total for the event is $2,550, but there are still some donations that haven’t been turned in yet. So, we expect that total to grow.
The money will be put to good use because this year the Girls on the Run program is expanding into all four public elementary schools. And, in 2014, we hope to further expand the program into St. Augustine Grade School. Since initiating this national program in Marion County in 2011, my goal has always been for the Girls on the Run program to be in every elementary school in the district. And, with the support of this extremely giving community, it looks like that is going to happen.
The Girls on the Run program combines training for a 3.1 mile running event (a 5K) with self-esteem enhancing, uplifting workouts. The 12-week program ends when the girls run a 5K in Lexington, an accomplishment very few, if any, of them dreamed they would ever achieve.
But, their accomplishments go far beyond running a 5K.
The girls learn how to be assertive and respond to peer pressure and bullying. They learn to stand up for what they believe in, and focus on their unique strengths and talents. They learn that they, too, can make a difference and have an impact on their community. But, most importantly, they learn to celebrate being a girl.
To steal a line from Beyoncé Knowles, “Who run the world? Girls!”
To learn more about Girls on the Run, visit www.girlsontherun.org.