My Girls on the Run Vermont 5k 2012

I woke up on the morning of Saturday, May 19, to a beautiful and sunny day. I knew it was going to be a great day to run a 5k and I was ready to run! I got dressed, had breakfast, and got into the car with my sister, Olivia, my mom, and my dad. We had to pick up some of our teammates, CC, Chloe, and my friend who is also named Emma.

When we got to the track at Brattleboro High School, it was full of people. Especially girls wearing their Girls on the Run blue t-shirts. We found the Sacred Heart sign and met up with the rest of our school group. We went around to the booths inside the track area. I got a temporary tattoo from one booth, a water bottle, some hair supplies and bright neon shoelaces from the SVMC booth. We used the laces to tie up our sleeves because it was starting to get warm.

Soon it is time to get ready for the race. The SVMC employees led us all in warming up our bodies and after we headed over to the starting line. We saw my friend Lauren and her mom, who was also a coach. Lauren was planning on running fast. I was planning on trying to beat my time from last year. The gun went off and we started running. It was very crowded at the beginning of the race but started to space out after a few minutes. I ran at an even pace the entire race and took a few short water stops. I was excited when I got to the track because I knew I was almost finished and I was going to beat my time from last year. I crossed the finish line in 31 minutes. This was about five minutes better than last year.

I got a drink and had some oranges. I then when to cheer on some of my teammates and ran with my friend McKenzie for her lap around the track. I also cheered on some friends from Bennington Elementary. Everyone was excited about the race and also happy it was over because it was really hot.

After everyone had finished the race, we headed back to the car to drive home. Everyone in the car had a great race and was excited to keep running in the future. We all thought we had a great season of Girls on the Run!

Emma Salem (right) is in the 4th Grade at Sacred Heart School. She is the daughter or Dr. Sarah Dahl and Dr. Charles Salem. Pictured with Emma are her friends Emma Fischer (left) and Lauren Johnson (center) at the Girls on the Run Vermont event. Visit www.svhealthcare.org to learn more about SVMC. “Health Matters” is a weekly column meant to educate readers about their personal health, public health matters, and public policy as it affects health care. Visit our Facebook page to see pictures and video from the Girls on the Run Vermont event.

The Girls on the Run Vermont Program provides a curriculum that combines lessons in good food choices, the importance of regular exercise, and positive self-image development with a community service component. The goals of the program are for each girl to have a stronger sense of identity, learn to stand up for herself in a healthy manner, learn the advantages of peer group support, have an improved body image, understand her place in the community and complete a 5k run/walk. Girls meet twice weekly with volunteer coaches to discuss issues and take part in fun running activities. The workouts provide girls with the opportunity to challenge themselves in an encouraging environment that advocates both physical and emotional fitness.