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'Girls on the Run' 5K in Columbus promotes self-confidence, character, connections

The program started with 13 girls in one school in 1996 and has grown to over 2 million girls nationwide and counting.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Elementary schoolers in Central Ohio hit the ground running in downtown Columbus on Sunday for the annual spring Girls on the Run 5K.

The race wrapped up with almost 900 girls, 300 coaches, and nearly 400 community runners, but it's about more than a 5K run. 

Girls on the Run is a national organization aimed at inspiring and empowering young girls. The goal is to connect girls in grades 3rd through 8th, helping them build confidence and other important life skills.

Wake Up CBUS traffic anchor Gabriela Garcia emceed Sunday's event. 

"Our coaches really supported us. We had a lot of people to support us while we were running, and I had a great time," said Zariea. 

For 25 years, Girls on the Run has inspired, empowered, and strengthened over 2 million girls.

"Some people don't feel as confident as they should, and I feel like girls' empowerment is like a way to uplift girls to feel good within themselves," Mariama Berri said.

According to organizers, 65% of girls in Central Ohio alone cannot afford Girls on the Run without financial assistance. You can find the link to donate here.

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