Sweet 16

Girls on the Run celebrates with two events and one famous speaker

Katherine Switzer was part of a worldwide uproar in 1967 when the director of the Boston Marathon, then a men-only race, attacked her mid-stride and tried to forcefully remove her from the race. She'll be speaking in Cary as Girls on the Run of the Triangle celebrates its 16th year.

Sixteen years of empowering girls — that’s something to celebrate.

Girls on the Run of the Triangle is doing just that this November, with two community events and one very special speaker: Katherine Switzer.

Switzer was part of a worldwide uproar in 1967 when the director of the Boston Marathon, then a men-only race, attacked her mid-stride and tried to forcefully remove her from the race.

The dramatic moment was captured in a photo that became one of Time-Life’s “100 Photos that Changed the World.”

Switzer went on to finish the race, the first woman to do so, and will run it again in 2017. She now serves as an advocate for women athletes and in 2015 was named one of Runner’s World’s “Top 50 Most Influential People in Running.”

She also founded a charity, 261 Fearless, named for the bib number she wore in Boston in 1967. The organization is a global movement that empowers women through the vehicle of running.

Switzer will be the featured speaker at both Sweet 16 events:

The Girls on the Run of the Triangle Sweet 16 Black Tie Dinner Gala, set for Saturday, Nov. 12 at 6:30 p.m., at The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary; and

The Community Walk & Talk Event on Sunday, Nov. 13, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at The Frontier at Research Triangle Park in RTP.

Girls on the Run of the Triangle, founded in 2000, is a character development and empowerment program for girls in grades 3 through 8 that uses running as a vehicle to teach essential life skills and core values for living a physically active and healthy lifestyle.

In 2016, nearly 2,200 girls will participate in the program at one of 90 elementary and middle school sites or community partner organizations in Wake, Orange and Durham counties. The organization will award $100,000 in scholarship assistance to over 30 percent of participants to ensure that no girl is denied the opportunity to participate in the program, regardless of her family’s ability to pay.

For more information, visit gotrtriangle.org.

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