About Girls on the Run

About Girls on the Run


Founder of GOTR, Molly Barker

Girls on the Run® (GOTR) was established in 1996 in Charlotte, North Carolina by Molly Barker, MSW. Molly first began running at the age of 15 when she found herself stuck in the ‘girl box.’ The girl box is the place where many girls go around middle school when they begin to morph into what they think they should be instead of being who they really are. During a sunset run in 1993, after years of questioning her self-worth and self-image, Molly found the inspiration that grew into Girls on the Run and in 1996, she piloted the earliest version of the program with 13 brave girls. 26 girls came the next season, then 75, and so the program grew. The Girls on the Run® curricula, the heart of the program, provides pre-adolescent girls with the necessary tools to embrace their individual strengths and successfully navigate life experiences.



GOTRVT Superstar, Nancy Heydinger

Girls on the Run Vermont was founded in 1999 by Nancy Heydinger who, with two daughters of her own, had a strong passion to inspire and motivate young girls in her community. “When my girls were young they were silly, confident, and uninhibited. I wanted them to stay that way as they grew older and ‘life’ began to interfere. Starting Girls on the Run Vermont was my way of doing that.” With 15 girls participating in the very first program, the GOTR Vermont council — now in its eighteenth year — has greatly expanded throughout the state with over 2,900 girls participating in the most recent 2016 season… all with the help and encouragement of our invaluable sponsors, more than 600 volunteer coaches and 160 sites!

In 2000, Girls on the Run International became a 501(c)3 organization. Today, Girls on the Run is offered at more than 200 councils across all 50 states, and hundreds of thousands of girls’ and women’s lives have been changed by the program. The true success of the program, however, is not told in the numbers, but rather in the words of the girls who participate…

“Girls on the Run made me realize that I am the boss of my brain.”

“I know that whatever I set my mind to do, I can do.”

“At Girls on the Run I learned how to be comfortable in my own skin!”

That is success.