Girls on the Run Review – Superhero 5K

My dad and my sister are both runners and I wish that I had the drive to run like they do. My daughter has been to many races to see them run, so she is familiar with the running environment and has loved the races that she has participated in. When I first heard about Girls on the Run, a program to train girls on long distance running while building their self-esteem and team work, I knew it was a program I would encourage my daughter to join.

Disclaimer: Girls on the Run of Southeastern Michigan sponsored my daughter and I in the Superhero 5K in November 2013. In return, I provided advance publicity and this review. All opinions are 100% mine and my daughter’s.

Girls on the Run is for girls in 3rd-5th grade. During the session the girls train with their local team and the season culminates in a 5K for teams throughout the region. Our local chapter, Girls on the Run of Southeastern Michigan, oversees individual teams in Washtenaw, Livingston, Jackson, Lenawee, and Monroe counties. In Ann Arbor, Girls on the Run is offered at many of the elementary schools through Ann Arbor Rec & Ed. My daughter is only in second grade, so she has a year before she can join the team at her school. However, the 5K at the end of the season is open to everyone.

While there was no fall session of Girls on the Run, they did hold the Superhero 5K on November 2 at Hudson Mills Metro Park to raise money for their scholarship fund.

As part of the Superhero 5K, they offered three sets of races. The day started with a 1 mile fun run, continued with the main event – the 5K and concluded with a kids dash. My daughter and I opted for the 5K (in actuality, I told my daughter we were doing the 5K). This was her second 5K after completing one this summer with dad, grandpa, and her aunt while I was at a conference.


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Logistics:
We registered for the race by mail and received our confirmation by email. The registration process was fairly straightforward. Packet pickup was available at either the Ellen Thompson Women’s Center (on the campus of St Joseph Hospital) on Friday afternoon or at the race on the morning of the race. We picked up our packet at the Ellen Thompson Women’s Center which was fairly convenient for us.

Unfortunately November 2 ended up being a cold, wet morning. On the plus side, the rain did let up in time for the 5K but those who participated in the 1 mile race ran in the rain. We arrived early and it was cool and chilly but we were able to wait in the lodge until it was time for the race to start. Outside the lodge they had frames with superhero/motivational sayings that you could use as photo props.
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 The rain did make parts of the course challenging as it included wooden bridges that became slippery with the rain as well as other parts that had puddles and mud.

Race:
The Super Hero 5K was a very fun race to run. There were many people dressed in capes, super hero accessories, or even full costumes to run the race. Due to the rain my daughter and I ran in ponchos. I told her they were like our super hero capes. She loved seeing all of the costumes at the race.

My daughter and I had not done much training prior to the race, so we did a combination of running and walking and fell in line with several groups doing the same…we would trade back and forth in positions. Just ahead of us throughout the race was a girls soccer team. I loved that they came out and ran/walked as a team. It was nice to participate in a race that was mostly families, particularly those with girls. There were plenty of males running as well…dads, brothers, grandfathers, etc.

The course was marked with mile signs and included plenty of course guides, particularly at areas that needed extra care due to the rain. The rain had made some bridges slick and also left puddles in other areas. They were careful to point out the slippery parts of the course as we approached.

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By the time we finished the race, the sun had even started to peek out of the clouds. We got our after race snack and returned to the lodge until the kids dash races were over. After the race they gave out prizes with the top 5 finishers in different groups winning super hero ducks and top finishers winning trophies and prizes.

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We definitely enjoyed doing the Girls on the Run Superhero 5K and hope to run more of their races in the future.

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Ann Arbor with Kids is your go-to source for Ann Arbor Family Fun. It got its start in an activity list that I was compiling for the playgroup I ran at our church. When my daughter started preschool, the other moms were thrilled to hear about my list. I decided to take the list public in 2009.

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