Port Royal Elementary Girls Run Club ready to fly at Saturday's Superhero 5k
By Shannon Roberts | Watch out Wonder Woman, Port Royal Elementary has a new crop of girls becoming superheroes in their own right. The Port Royal Girls Run Club at Port Royal Elementary for 4th and 5th grade girls was started two years ago by 4th grade teacher Martha McDuff. Last year’s club was such a success she, along with staff members Heather Dilbeck and Jennifer Fermin as well as running mom Cristina Carcamo have trained another group of 15 girls to challenge themselves to run 3.1 miles in a 5k road race.
On April 25th, the gun will go off at the Super Hero 5k and the Port Royal Girls Run Club will be off and racing to achieve their goal. Crossing the finish line will be a defining moment for them, accomplishing what was seemingly impossible when they started training all those months ago. Join them and hundreds of other runners at the race: superhero attire is highly encouraged. The course is beautiful, lined with the picturesque city of Port Royal’s grand live oaks. To register, go to http://www.active.com/port-royal-sc/running/races/superhero-5k-2015.
A multi-time marathoner and triathlete, Martha McDuff knows how to take on a tough physical challenge and the personal benefits from doing so. She learned about the importance of starting girls running early in life through observing and participating in Girls on the Run while living in Raleigh, North Carolina. Girls on the Run is a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching girls, in an after-school running club format, life lessons that encourage positive emotional social, mental and physical development. The early preteen years can be difficult years, as bodies change and self confidence wavers. An unhealthy obsession with body image can set in, as bodies develop in different ways, at different rates, and in different shapes. Teaching girls at an early age to appreciate their bodies for strength and stamina is a key lesson for solid physical, emotional and social well-being. As friends and social acceptance becomes a big part of their life, confidence in themselves and healthy relationships is much needed support system for girls as they grow into teenagers.
Getting girls out to run and challenge themselves to attain a physical goal reaps many benefits. As anyone who has trained for a race can attest, running is not only tough to do physically, it also tests ones mental resolve and toughness to push your physical self further each time. Coaches quote often, “Your mind will want to give up long before your body will.”
Running as a group also helps the girls learn to support and encourage each other.
Coach McDuff has seen her girls come together as a team, complement each other on their successes and progress, and celebrate milestones. The after school run club has taught the girls help each other stay focused on their ultimate goal of completing a 5k. To keep it fun and interesting, Martha has has incorporated speedwork and drills, runs for time, scavenger hunts and obstacle courses. They run laps and drills through the halls at school on rainy weather days, a fun diversion from the neighborhood roads in Port Royal. They earn beads and manicures with their accomplishments. Martha has a background in personal training, yoga, strength training, and pilates, so she works her magic with the girls, teaching them how to become physically strong and tough, which translates to their personal lives. They are learning how to overcome obstacles, set goals, and stay motivated. The physical release also helps improve outlook, behavior, an overall sense of personal satisfaction, and mental clarity.
Sometimes it feels like you have to be a Superhero to navigate the challenges of growing up. Martha McDuff and her Girls Run Club will prove to you that you don’t need a cape to find your limitless potential. They will show you their own superhero strength, self confidence, support, belief in oneself and team, and how they encourage others. Come see these superhero girls fly across their finish line. I promise you will be truly inspired and will be flying high alongside them.
See all the event info here: https://www.eatstayplaybeaufort.com/event/2nd-annual-superhero-5k/