Across the country, women outnumber men at the finish lines of running events, and in Laramie, the number of young girls who run is on the rise.
Close to 100 girls will participate in Laramie’s Hapi-ness 5k this year. They are participants in She’s A Runner Girl, a program that physically and mentally prepares girls to complete a 3.1-mile run.
A second grader named Ada said she likes running with all girls. "Because there are no boys to make you sad or anything."
Ada lined up on the track at the University of Wyoming field house with her fellow "runner girls," as they refer to themselves, for the last run of the six-week program. Coach Peggy McCrackin shouted: "Let’s hear our cheer. One. Two. Three." And the girls let out an enthusiastic scream.
With support from the High Plains Harriers, McCrackin helped start the program in 2011, and over the last six years, it’s brought close to 500 girls across the finish line.
In addition to running, a key component of this project is self-confidence. Before they start their laps around the track, McCrackin asked them what they'll think about while they're running. One girl belted out: "You can do it!"
For those that want to run, walk or be part of the cheer squad at the Hapi-ness 5k, it starts at 9 a.m. at the Laramie Junior High.