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What We Do

At Girls on the Run of NOVA (GOTR NOVA) we inspire girls to recognize their inner strength and celebrate what makes them one of a kind. Trained coaches lead small teams through our research-based curricula which includes dynamic discussions, activities and running games. Over the course of the ten-week program, girls in 3rd-8th grade develop essential skills to help them navigate their worlds and establish a lifetime appreciation for health and fitness. The program
culminates with girls positively impacting their communities through a service project and being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5K event.

GOTR NOVA is dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.

Why it matters

Girls face social pressures and conflicting messages about how they should act and who they should be. Studies show that by adolescence, girls’ confidence drops about twice as much as boys’. Friendships become more complicated and challenging, girls’ perception of their academic ability declines, the likelihood of anxiety and depression increases and participation in physical activity plummets.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

We believe that every girl is inherently full of power and potential. By knowing they are the leaders of their lives, these are the girls who will change the world.

What Girls Learn

Lessons are designed to build girls’ self-worth and help them feel greater confidence in who they are. Activities help
girls recognize their personal strengths and teach them how to stand up for themselves and others.

By gaining awareness of the power they possess to make intentional decisions, girls learn to choose positive actions
which demonstrate respect and responsibility towards themselves and others.

Throughout each season, girls learn to respond to others and themselves with care and compassion. Lessons and
activities further develop their abilities to sympathize and empathize both within and beyond their social groups.

Girls on the Run lessons focus on cooperative skills and team building through a positive group setting. Girls learn
firsthand how to create positive connections with parents and caregivers, teachers, peers and their communities.

Our program provides skill-building experiences to nurture girls’ physical, social and emotional competencies that
they apply in other areas of their lives such as home, school, and in the neighborhood. Completing a 5k at the end of
the season gives them a tangible opportunity to apply all that they have learned.

When girls develop and strengthen these life skills, they can thrive. More importantly, they can then develop a final
skill: CONTRIBUTION. Girls on the Run inspires girls to build lives of purpose and to make a meaningful contribution
to community and society. This comes to life through a key element of the curricula when each team creates and
executes a community service project.

Girls on The Run

(Elementary School)

Girls on the Run is our program for girls starting in 3rd grade that encourages girls to recognize their individual strengths and celebrate connections with others. Each season, girls gain a better understanding of who they are and what’s important to them, the value of teamwork and healthy relationships and how they can have a positive impact on the world. Girls also make a meaningful contribution to their community through a team-organized Community Impact Project.

Physical activity is woven into the program to inspire an appreciation for fitness and healthy habits and teach life skills including treating others with care, practicing gratitude and managing emotions. Each season culminates with Girls on the Run 5K event. This celebratory, non-competitive event provides girls with a sense of accomplishment and instills the value of goal setting at a young age.

Heart & Sole
(Middle School)

Heart & Sole is Girls on the Run’s middle school program that meets the unique needs of girls in middle school.

The program considers the whole girl – body, brain, heart, spirit and social connection – in positive, structured space where girls can learn about themselves, explore new ideas, cultivate empathy and strengthen connections.

Running is incorporated into each lesson to encourage physical wellness and teach life skills such as team building, creating a support system, standing up for themselves and others and decision making. The girls prepare for a celebratory Girls on the Run 5K event at the end of each season. This non-competitive event fosters goal setting and a sense of confidence through accomplishments to last a lifetime


GOTR NOVA programming includes both Girls on the Run for elementary school age girls (starting in 3rd grade) and Heart & Sole for middle school girls. As we look ahead to the Fall 2021 season, we’re excited to share that we’ll be returning to a pre-Covid 10- week in-person programming for both Girls on the Run and Heart & Sole teams

If you’d liketo receive more information about our program registration, please email us at

Refund Policy
Parents may request a 100% refund (minus a $6 processing fee) in writing through the Thursday after lotteries are run and teams are confirmed. Refunds for 50% of the program fee (minus a $6 processing fee) will be issued from the Friday after teams are confirmed through the day before late registration ends. All refund requests must be made in writing to to be processed.

If a registrant is injured within the 50% refund window and they are unable to participate in the program, they are eligible for a full refund provided they offer a physician’s verification. Prior to agreeing to the refund, however, registrants are encouraged to:

1. defer their registration for the following season, or

2. participate in the program and withhold from doing the physical aspects of the program (still participating in the lessons, cheering, participating in the impact project, etc.)

Parents have 30 days from the close of the 50% refund period to submit a doctor’s note to verify a participant’s injury. Refunds will be processed only after a doctor’s note has been received.  After the 50% refund period ends, no refunds will be offered even in the case of injury. All refund requests must be made via e-mail ( to be considered.

Spring 2022


Location and Fees

Girls on the Run of NOVA offers programming in Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Falls Church, Loudoun, Manassas, Manassas Park, and Prince William. Please click the map for a complete view of the sites for the upcoming season.  If you don’t see a site near you, please contact us about how to start a team near you.

Standard Program Fee | $175

Discounted Fees:
Coach Daughter/Family | $110
Active & Retired Military | $150
Sibling | $150

Payment Plans :
2-Payment Plan | 50% upon registration and 50% later date
3-Payment Plan | 35% upon registration, with subsequent payments of 35% and then final 30% 

Financial Assistance Options:
Reduced School Lunch | $75
Free School Lunch (SNAP, WIC, TANF, and Medicaid also eligible) | $22

If your family is eligible for the USDA Free or Reduced Lunch Programs, SNAP, WIC, TANF, or Medicaid, you may select the financial assistance option that applies to you in the registration form and your fee will automatically be adjusted.

Do you need financial assistance for your GOTR girls’ registration, but feel you aren’t eligible for a program discount or the USDA Free or Reduced Lunch Program? Don’t worry — we know circumstances can be hard during these challenging times. Our online program registration will ask some additional questions to apply for financial assistance when registering your girls for the program.  Or, you have the option to fill out our  Financial Assistance Request Form or call our office at 703-273-3153 to discuss with a member of our program staff. 

Check out the video above to learn more about our financial assistance and/or program discounts.

Click here to view in Spanish.

Are you unable to find a team to join near you?  Our Program Team would be happy to help you start a team in your area!  We can answer any questions you have and help guide you through the next steps for starting a Girls on the Run or Heart & Sole program at your school, community center or other meeting place.  This includes helping you find coaches and/or providing financial assistance for girls to join the program.

Our Spring 2021 season will be a 10-week program with a large 5K event at the end where all teams will come together to celebrate. 

Email our team,, to let us know if you’d like to start a team. Please include the name and location of where you want to start a Girls on the Run or Heart & Sole team, and the best way to contact you. Once we receive your request, a member of our Program Team will follow up with you by phone or email and send you our New Site Information Packet, along with a link to our New Site Application

Spring 2022 Timeline

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a number of frequently asked questions we receive about our program.  If you have any additional questions, please email us at

Where Does GOTR NOVA Programming Take Place?
Girls on the Run of NOVA currently serves approximately 200 public schools, private schools, and community centers across Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties, as well as Alexandria City, Falls Church City, Manassas City and Manassas Park public school systems.
What Does the Timing of the Program Look Like?

Girls on the Run serves girls in Elementary School. Heart & Sole serves girls in Middle School. Programs are offered twice a year in the fall and in the spring. Fall programs begin in September, following the start of the school year, and conclude in late November. Our Spring programs begin in March and end in mid-May.

Teams meet twice a week over the course of 10 weeks.  Most often teams host practices just before or just after school with some teams practicing in the early evening or on Saturdays at our community center and multi-family dwelling locations. The school-based programs do not meet on days that schools are not in session or on early release days.

A Girls on the Run practices lasts between 60-90minutes, and a Heart & Sole practice lasts between 75-90 minutes. Each session focuses on a specific issue-related topic which is incorporated into the activities and games planned for the lesson. The coaches begin the lesson by introducing and explaining the day’s topic. The girls then warm up their muscles with a brief interactive running activity or game. Then, the girls stretch and further discuss how the activity related to the topic. Next, the girls perform the workout, which primarily consists of running laps but also integrates the topic of the day. For example, the girls may have to answer questions about the day’s topic each time they complete a lap. The lesson ends with stretching, reviewing what the girls learned that day, and a group cheer.

Who Delivers the Program?

Each team is led by a trained female head coach plus two coaches that volunteer their time to guide and mentor girls through a fun and uplifting program. Coaches are trained in the Girls on the Run and and/or Heart & Sole curriculums, undergo a background check, and are CPR certified.

Do the Coaches or the Girls Participating Have to be runners?
No! Girls on the Run of Northern Virginia is for EVERYONE – even those who don’t like to run. The program is non-competitive and focuses on helping participants develop healthy, positive self-images. Anyone with a desire to work with girls of this age group and who enjoys physical exercise is welcome to apply to be a volunteer coach. See the Coach job description on our volunteer page and complete the Volunteer Interest Form. And, girls in the program are encouraged to walk or run the laps during the workouts, and all girls progress at their own speed.
What Does the Program Fee Include?

The program fee includes the following items:

  • 20-lesson program conducted by certified GOTR coaches
  • Materials used by the coaches over the course of the program
  • Entry* into the end-of-season 5k running event
  • Official GOTR T-shirt
  • 5K Medal and bib
  • Comprehensive insurance

*Transportation to and from the 5k is not included.

At Girls on the Run of NOVA (GOTR NOVA) we are committed to seeing our program is available to all girls in the Northern Virginia region. That is, we do not want finances to be a barrier that prevents any girl from being a member of a team in her community. Therefore, to make the program accessible to all families across the Northern Virginia region, we have several financial assistance and payment options to consider, which coaches can share with their site’s families. Check out this video to learn more about our financial assistance and/or program discounts.

Why Are the Team Sizes Limited?
Our programs are most effective with teams of 15 to 20 girls since much of the GOTR curriculum is designed to foster team dynamics and active participation in the lessons. We also need to ensure the size of the group is manageable for our coaches. Sites that have more than the maximum number of girls who want to join the program may consider multiple programs if space and resources allow.

For programs where registration went over capacity and entered a lottery, this week represents an add/drop period where if a girl drops from that program, all girls who originally registered will be entered into a second random lottery to fill that slot. For programs that are not filled (<20 girls for Girls on the Run and <15 girls for Heart & Sole), registration will remain open with a $25 late registration fee.

Is It Safe for Young Girls to Be Running a 5K (3.1 Miles)?
“Children’s bodies are well suited for endurance exercise, and numerous studies have shown that children show many positive physiological adaptation to endurance exercise training. The keys are gradual progression and common-sense adult supervision. If those conditions are met, running 3 miles is a reasonable goal for most young people, ” says Russell R. Pate, Ph.D., with the Department of Exercise Science at the University of South Carolina. The girls are not pressured to run; rather, they are encouraged to run or walk according to their current level of fitness with emphasis on improving endurance and form.

Support Us Today

Regardless of background or income level, girls emerge from our program more likely to engage in exercise, and with higher self- esteem. A track record of over 70,000 participants in 21 years is beyond impressive. Let’s keep it going strong.

Local Sponsors


National SPonsors

Girls on the Run is a transformational physical activity based positive youth development program for girls in 3rd-8th grade. We teach life skills through dynamic interactive lessons and running games. The program culminates with the girls being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5k running event. The goal of the program is to unleash confidence through accomplishment while establishing a lifetime appreciation of health and fitness. Girls on the Run of Northern Virginia is an Independent Council of Girls on the Run International, which has a network of over 200 councils across all 50 states and the District of Columbia.


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