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Molly Barker, MSW, a four-time Hawaii Ironman triathlete, founded Girls on the Run in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1996. Molly began running at the age of 15—an age when she found herself stuck in the Girl Box, when only girls who were a certain size with a certain beauty were popular. Molly kept running and years later, on July 7, 1993, she took off on a sunset run and found the inspiration that grew into Girls on the Run. Using her background in counseling and teaching and her personal recovery from alcoholism, along with research on adolescent issues, she developed the earliest version of the curriculum with the help of 13 intrepid girls at Charlotte Country Day School. The program grew and today Molly oversees more than 20,000 girls who participate in GOTR programs across the country. In 1998, Runner’s World awarded Molly its Golden Shoe Award for contributions to the community through running. Her favorite times remain the ones she spends with her own daughter and her son at their home in Charlotte, North Carolina.
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