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Magee-Womens Hospital Girls on the Run Chapter Holds 12th Annual 5K, Stomping Out Bullying with Every Step

Hundreds of Runners Support the Program’s Healthy-Living, Anti-Bullying Message

PITTSBURGH, May 15, 2014 – More than 1,000 pre-teen and young teenage girls will join their family and friends this Sunday, May 18 for the 12th annual Magee-Womens Hospital-sponsored Girls on the Run 5K at Hartwood Acres. The run celebrates the culmination of the 12-week Girls on the Run program, which uses a fun, experience-based curriculum to promote confidence and self-esteem by training girls in grades 3 to 8 to achieve what may seem to be a daunting goal -- completing a 5K run. The Girls on the Run curriculum includes healthy living and life-skills development sessions, focused on an anti-bullying theme. Coaches and girls discuss different types of bullying and practice responses to realistic scenarios.
“Girls on the Run provides a wonderful outlet for young women during a time in their lives when they are especially vulnerable to peer pressure,” said Leslie Davis, president, Magee-Women’s Hospital of UPMC. “It’s our mission to promote the physical, emotional and mental health of women of all ages.” 
The girls meet twice weekly for 12 weeks, and during each of the training sessions, coaches provide life lessons, and mentally prepare the girls to run. The girls also play running games, drilling their bodies to handle the rigors of a 5K.
“This program is for any girl, no matter what her physical capabilities are,” said Program Director Meredith Colaizzi, Girls on the Run Magee chapter. “They learn coping skills for problems they encounter at school, they meet new people and make new friends, all while they are getting exercise.”
The local Girls on the Run program has grown from one site with 13 participants in 2000, to 50 sites throughout the Pittsburgh region this year. One-thousand girls and 150 coaches will complete the spring session this week.
“The main objective is for them to have fun,” said Colaizzi. “That’s why they’re here. That’s why the program keeps growing.”
The 5K will begin at 9am on Sunday, May 18 at Hartwood Acres. Interested runners can register online at All participants wear bib #1, and everyone who finishes receives a medal.
Girls on the Run of Magee-Womens Hospital is an Affiliate/Independent Council of Girls on the Run International, which has a network of over 200 locations across the United States and Canada.

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