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On Saturday Girls on the Run East Central Illinois will host its 5k event at the Mattoon Area Family YMCA at 9 a.m. Girls on the Run is a physical activity-based, positive youth development program that uses running games and dynamic discussions to teach life skills to girls in 3rd to 8th grades. This 5k is a community event where any person who would like to complete the 3.1 miles is welcome to register. The event brings excitement with several volunteers along the route to cheer participants along.

The fee for the 5k registration is $25 per participant. Registration may be completed by visiting the website, www.girlsontheruneci.org. Same day registration will be available from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at the Mattoon Area Family YMCA. Registration on Saturday will be $30. All proceeds from the event will benefit Girls on the Run East Central Illinois.

Packet pick up for the 5k event will be held on Thursday from 4-7 p.m. and Friday from noon to 6 p.m. at the Mattoon Area Family YMCA at 221 North 16th Street, in Mattoon. When arriving on Saturday, it is recommended to reach the YMCA by 8:30 a.m.. This will allow time for parking, restroom stops and to find the start line located on 16th Street, next to the YMCA.

To show your support for Girls on the Run, consider purchasing Girls on the Run merchandise which will be available during packet pick-up and at the event.

Girls on the Run is a youth program which inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident. During the ten week program, girls participate in lessons that foster confidence, build peer connections and encourage community service while they prepare for an end-of-season celebratory 5k event. This year Girls on the Run East Central Illinois was present in six counties.

Girls on the Run is made possible with the help of volunteer coaches who lead lessons twice a week and run alongside the girls at the 5k. These volunteers provide apositive role models who initiate conversation, laughter and energy among the group. Girls on the Run East Central Illinois is thankful for the time, energy and excitement that each coach offered their team during the fall 2017 season. If you are interested in coaching during the 2018 season, please visit www.girlsontheruneci.org.

If attending or participating in the 5k event, please be sure to cheer on the approximate 150 girls from this season of Girls on the Run, along with the boys who completed this season of STRIDE through the Mattoon YMCA. STRIDE follows a similar curriculum as Girls on the Run, giving boys the opportunity to learn, thrive and grow through group activities. Girls on the Run and the staff of the Mattoon YMCA look forward to seeing you at the start line.

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