Strong Girls United to host global race supporting girls June 23

events Apr 26, 2024

Portland, ME – [April 22, 2024] – Join us June 23, at 8:00 a.m., for the 2nd annual Just A Girl 5k | 10k, a unique and inspiring race at Bug Light State Park in Portland. This event celebrates the anniversary of Title IX and Olympic Day, promoting inclusivity and empowerment. All proceeds will benefit SG United Foundation (“Strong Girls United”), supporting its mission to empower girls and women across the state and globally.

Open to all ages, genders, and abilities, Just A Girl Run is more than a race; it's a movement to break assumptions and foster a community that empowers girls and women. Inspired by Coach Katie Stannard and Teresa Esposito's experiences in both the athletic and professional world, where assumptions often overshadowed their leadership and expertise, this race challenges stereotypes and showcases the power of unity in sports. “Over the years, I have witnessed the power of mentorship and having a safe person to hear the truth from and encourage you when you can’t find the inspiration yourself. I love the work of Strong Girls United because of the wonderful programs and representation they are delivering to young girls!” said Stannard.

Participants can choose between the 5k and 10k options. Spectators can enjoy a day filled with joy and camaraderie, with female college athletes running games and Olympic-themed activities for children. Those unable to be in Portland are invited to join the virtual race from anywhere in the world! Register as a Virtual Participant to receive a customized bib, then run at your convenience and enter your results to be counted as part of our team.

"Our goal is to ignite a global phenomenon. We want this event to become THE race in June celebrating female athletes," says Lani Silversides, a Maine native and Strong Girls United founder and executive director. "We are especially grateful to our lead sponsor Yankee Ford, as well as Katie and Teresa, who have been instrumental in helping this race gain traction. They decided to take action by turning ‘just a girl’ into something empowering. From competing to raising money for our amazing cause, we can always count on their enthusiastic support," added Silversides.

"Just A Girl 5k was my first-ever race, and I cannot wait for this next one," said Sara Bevilacqua, of Portland. "The atmosphere made me feel as though I could have run 10 miles, and I am not a runner. The support and encouragement I witnessed that day was inspiring, and although one race a year may be enough for me, I am proud to participate in this one." 

Event details, including packet pickup, volunteer opportunities, and onsite activities, will be updated regularly on our website.

Let's run together, break barriers, and empower future generations—one stride at a time!

For more information, to register, or to donate, visit





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SG United Foundation ("Strong Girls United") is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission is to empower girls to be strong, confident, and resilient. 

EIN: 84-2731661



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