Girls on the Run is a transformational physical activity based positive youth development program for girls in 3rd-8th grade. We teach life skills through dynamic, interactive lessons and running games. The program culminates with the girls being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5k running event. The goal of the program is to unleash confidence through accomplishment while establishing a lifetime appreciation of health and fitness.

Our Mission

We believe that every girl can embrace who she is, can define who she wants to be, can rise to any challenge, can change the world.

We inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.

Our Vision

We envision a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.

Core Values

We envision a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.

Girls on the Run honors its core values. We strive to:

  • Recognize our power and responsibility to be intentional in our decision making
  • Embrace our differences and find strength in our connectedness
  • Express joy, optimism and gratitude through our words, thoughts and actions
  • Nurture our physical, emotional and spiritual health
  • Lead with an open heart and assume positive intent
  • Stand up for ourselves and others

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.

Corporate sponsors for Girls on the Run International include Athleta, Secret deodorant, Garmin, and Lego Friends.

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.

Participating YMCA Locations:

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We've partnered with The ACTIVE® Network to provide easy program registration for Y Members and Community participants.

Register for Girls on the Run


Your support can transform the lives of girls in Metro Detroit.

Donate to Girls on the Run Now

For more information, visit our council website gotrdetroit.org.