Girls on the Run: Maine Marathon names youth development program 2019 beneficiary

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PORTLAND–The Maine Marathon, Half Marathon and Relay announced last week, via Bob Dunfey, Volunteer Race Director, that among the event’s five 2019 beneficiaries will be Girls on the Run, a youth-development organization serving all of Maine with locations in 12 counties.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Maine Marathon in 2019,” Emily Clark, Girls on the Run Executive Director said in a press release. “We are grateful for the opportunity and support. The contribution will support our program expansion initiative including providing financial assistance to girls who are unable to pay the program fee. We look forward to working with the Maine Track Club, Maine Marathon volunteers and our fellow beneficiaries.”

Girls on the Run (GotR)will receive $6,700; the program will operate out of 59 sites for the Spring 2019 season, including seven that fall within Current Publishing’s coverage area: Great Falls, Narragansett and Village Elementary Schools in Gorham; Manchester School and Windham Primary School in Windham; George E. Jack School in Standish; and the Casco Community Center in Casco.

GotR centers itself around physical activities, using them to give girls joy, confidence and a long-term appreciation for good health, as well as to nurture essential skills in them for making their way through the world. Each seasonal session is 10 weeks long, is open to girls in third through eighth grades and finishs with a community service project and a “celebratory 5k.”

“Girls face social pressures and conflicting messages about how they should act and who they should be,” the aforementioned press release reads. “Studies show that by adolescence, girls’ confidence drops about twice as much as boys’. In middle school, friendships become more complicated and challenging, girls’ perception of their academic ability declines, the likelihood of anxiety and depression increases and participation in physical activity plummets. It does not have to be this way. We believe that every girl is inherently full of power and potential. By knowing they are the leaders of their lives, these girls will change the world.”

The Maine Track Club organized the Maine Marathon more than 20 years ago; since then, the non-profit event has raised in excess of $4,100,000 for Maine charities. Dozens of volunteer race coordinators work together to plan the event each year, and better than 800 volunteers team up to pull it off on race weekend.

This year’s race will take place on Sunday, Oct. 6 at 7:45 a.m. in Portland. The course features, according to its website, “an out-and-back course with rolling hills and views of the Portland skyline, the Back Cove, Casco Bay, and peak fall foliage.” It’s USA Track and Field-certified, and a Boston Marathon qualifier. The Half Marathon is likewise USATF-certified, and the Relay is “a unique 2 to 4-person marathon-length event.”

The Maine Marathon is sponsored by Gorham Savings Bank.

For more information, contact:
Emily Clark: emily.clark@girlsontherun.org, 207-747-5677
Bob Dunfey: mainemarathon@gmail.com, 207-475-5656

Girls on the Run is online at www.girlsontherunmaine.org, as well as on Twitter (@GOTRI) and Facebook (a quick search turns it right up).

The Maine Marathon is online at mainemarathon.com; it’s on Twitter, too (@MaineMarathon) and easily searchable on Facebook.

Adam Birt can be reached at abirt@keepmecurrent.com. Follow him on Twitter: @CurrentSportsME.

A handful of Girls on the Run participants line up and flex at the program’s Spring 2018 celebratory 5K.

Photo courtesy of Patience Cleveland Photography.

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