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Thousands run this Sunday

Drivers will need to take notice this weekend when thousands of runners meet at YMCA Camp Arrowhead for Girls on the Run Hampton Roads.

Girls on the Run will hold the “Girls Got Grit” Camo 5K in partnership with Obici Healthcare Foundation on Sunday at Camp Arrowhead, 275 Kenyon Road. It will be the first time this semi-annual event will take place in Suffolk and 2,300 young runners are expected to participate, including 1,057 girls enrolled in the program, according to the press release.

The runners will start at Camp Arrowhead at 2 p.m. and head down Kenyon Road toward Lakeland High School. They will then loop around the school before heading back on Kenyon Road, then go from pavement to grass behind the Paul D. Camp Community College’s Hobbs-Suffolk Campus and Camp Arrowhead, then finishing back at the starting line.

According to Executive Director Ellen Carver, heavy traffic is expected on Kenyon Road between 12:30 and 1:30 p.m., and the section of Kenyon Road between Lakeland High School and Camp Arrowhead will be closed from 2 to shortly after 3 p.m. Residents in that section of Kenyon Road will be notified, Carver said.

The event officially begins at noon with festivities for the whole family, including food trucks, photo booths, a bounce house, a DJ, face painting, a super hero cape ceremony and more. YMCA shuttle buses will be available to transport those parking at Lakeland High School to the Camp Arrowhead campus, according to the press release.

Girls on the Run is a national nonprofit that encourages girls ages 8 to 13 to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles through dynamic, interactive lessons and running games. These girls have been steadily improving their running stamina over the course of a 12-week program this past semester, and on Sunday they’ll put those skills to the test.

“It’s an exercise that shows them how goal setting works,” Carver said in a phone interview.

Enrollment for the spring semester of Girls on the Run starts in January. Visit www.gotrhr.org for more information.