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In Seneca, running like a girl takes on a whole new meaning
girls on the run
RUN LIKE A GIRL IN SENECA is an innovative new program at the school designed to boost self-confidence and esteem in young women. These are some of the gals with gumption that gutted it out in the cold weather on May 4 to participate in the program.

Running like a girl has often in the past been considered an insult. However, through empowerment and exercise, the girls at Seneca are taking back what it means to Run like a Girl.

“The first lesson goes off of a commercial, where they ask little girls to show them how to run like a girl,” Program organizer Sonya Lenzedorf explains “and the young girls run fast, and with a lot of confidence. When they ask the older group of girls and boys how to run like a girl, it isn’t as flattering or confident. So the whole program is about empowering girls, and working on self esteem and confidence going into those tough middle school years.”

Run Like a Girl at Seneca has been going for about three weeks. Third, forth, and fifth grade girls have been participating. “We have about 24 girls participating, which we are really excited about,” Lenzendorf said “they just keep coming back, which makes us happy.”

The Run Like a Girl program was started by the Healthy Roots Coalition and has been going on at Prairie Catholic for some time. “I saw that they were doing it in Prairie,” Lenzendorf said “and I wanted to bring it to Seneca where my kids go to school. Running is great, because there are no costs and you don’t need any equipment to get started.”

The goal of the program is also to increase the duration and pace of running while the girls build relationships with each other. The end goal is for the girls to participate as a group in a local 5K.  The emphasis of the program will be to complete that 5 as a team, ultimately building confidence through accomplishment.

Each week the girls have a short lesson and healthy snack before they tie the laces on their running shoes. “The lessons are about self esteem, confidence, healthy body image, how to deal with and no be a mean girl, and just health in general,” Lenzendorf told the Independent-Scout.

“I think its building confidence amongst the girls,” Lenzendorf said “they’re pumped to see how much further they run each time, and they’re making friendships they may have not made before.”

If anyone is interested in starting a Run Like a Girl program with their school or group, they can contact Healthy Roots Coalition by phone at 608-326-0223 or on the web at