Change of pace: Girls on the Run finds Laketown a great place to practice

Girls from Hamilton school training for 5K.
Runners from Blue Star Elementary School pass by inspiring messages, including “Power Up,” along the multi-use path on Beeline Road in Laketown Township on Tuesday, May 9, as part of Girls on the Run training.

About 2 dozen runners from Blue Star Elementary took to Laketown Township on Tuesday, May 9, to train for the upcoming Girls on the Run 5K.

Twenty-six third- and fourth-grade girls in purple shirts along with some alumni in the fifth grade ran on the township’s multi-use paths for a change of pace.

“Since running at school is our usual training grounds, we try to do something fun and different for the practice 5K,” said Megan Reilly, a first-grade teacher and organizer of the school’s Girls on the Run team. Blue Star Elementary, 3846 58th St., is part of Hamilton Community Schools.

Finding a safe training route that’s a good fit for the team has been a challenge.

“Being a Laketown resident has come in handy because I’m pretty familiar with this route since I use it personally to train for events and run for leisure. With that said, the Laketown multi-use path is a beautiful, safe, and well-maintained path making it a great place for our practice 5K,” she said.

The Graafschap Fire Department helped out, positioning fire trucks at key intersections to alert traffic to slow down as the girls ran by.

Some of the 26 runners from Hamilton Community Schools’ Blue Star Elementary head down the multi-use path along Beeline Road in Laketown Township on Tuesday, May 9, as part of their training for Girls on the Run.

The girls are training for the Celebration 5K on Saturday, May 20, at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

The Girls on the Run program is designed to inspire girls to build confidence, kindness and decision-making skills. The 5K provides a sense of accomplishment.

“This event has become quite the tradition and highlight of the season, which is only possible because of all the support from Graafschap Fire Department, administrators and transportation providers for Hamilton Community Schools, our GOTR Coaches, and, of course, our Girls on the Run families,” Reilly said.