Governor’s Cup proceeds to benefit girls’ running group

hcahill@thestate.comNovember 6, 2013 

The runners leave the start line of the Columbia Marathon.

FILE PHOTOGRAPH — The State Buy Photo


    WHAT: 2013 Governor’s Cup, featuring a half-marathon, 8K run, 4-mile walk and kids’ cup races

    WHEN: Opening ceremonies start at 7:30 a.m. Saturday

    WHERE: Gervais at Main streets


    MORE RACING: Girls on the Run will hold its own 5K race at 8:30 a.m., Nov. 23 at the Gibson Road Soccer Complex on Duffie Drive in Lexington. For details,

    GET INVOLVED: To become a volunteer for Girls on the Run – Columbia or a participant, see or call Mary Lohman at (803) 381-0482.

A group that inspires healthy lifestyle choices in young Midlands’ girls will be the charity beneficiary of the annual Governor’s Cup Road Race set for Saturday

A group that inspires healthy lifestyle choices in young Midlands’ girls will be the charity beneficiary of the annual Governor’s Cup Road Race set for Saturday.

The group, Girls on the Run – Columbia, coaches girls ages 8 to 13 through a 12-week curriculum incorporating training for a final 5k running event. The charity fuses this physical training with lessons designed to inspire healthy lifestyle choices and build confidence through the girls’ accomplishments.

Partnering with the Governor’s Cup “is two-fold; it’s an opportunity for awareness in the community and a great way to partner with an organization that has the same mission as us,” the charity’s executive director Mary Lohman said. This is the second year the charity has benefitted from the Governor’s Cup, sponsored by Lexington Medical Center. This year’s event is set to begin at 7:30 a.m. Saturday at Gervais and Main streets.

Girls on the Run uses the money for scholarships for girls who otherwise could not participate in its program. Last year, the $2,000 donation was enough to sponsor a 15-girl team.

With the help of local public schools and volunteer coaches, the organization teaches the girls life lessons throughout their time with the program. Meeting twice every week over the 12-week curriculum, every session has a specific topic, Lohman says. The cost of enrollment per girl is $150.

“Three of the major topics are focusing on ourselves, healthy relationships and ourselves as part of the community,” Lohman said. “We incorporate the skills they are learning with the lesson and it always relates back to the topic of the day.”

The local group was established in 2005 and serves more than 30 sites throughout Kershaw, Richland, Lexington and Sumter counties, reaching out to more than 1,000 participants each year.

Scholarships provided by funds raised from the Governor’s Cup benefit about 35 percent of the girls involved in the program.

“We are happy to be associated with the Governor’s Cup. They do a great job of encouraging our local community of being healthy and active,” Lohman said.

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