As the rain stopped and the sun began to rise, thousands of girls converged on Corporate Woods. It was time for the Girls on the Run Final 5K! For the last 10 weeks, groups of girls from all over the KC Metro area have been meeting twice per week to learn about pride, self-esteem, gratitude and positive body image – among these groups has been the KidsTLC Girls on the Run Team. Early Sunday morning, staff awoke 11 eager girls, got them breakfast and headed out the door. As they arrived at the race, some were still wiping the sleep from their eyes and others were already jumping around but all were ready to face the challenge and relish the accomplishment of what was, for many of them, their first 5K.
Preparation before any race must include the right accessories and ours were some fabulous hand decorated pink capes, butterfly bandanas and fabulously wild socks – we were ready to go! As we approached the starting line, staff and girls paired up to set a pace of running or walking. As we made our way along the course, we admired others people accessories, laughed at funny signs and even listened to some music. Most importantly, our girls were just part of the crowd – they were special for what they were a part of, not for what they had been through or the struggles they had to overcome.
Every fan along the course or fellow runner on the path, saw them as Girls on the Run teammates – not victims, clients or children in need. As we neared the finish line, the roar of the crowd inspired all of us – taking off running to cross the finish line and proudly receiving our medals. Several times throughout the race, one girl said, “My legs are tired but I’m going to keep going”, “Can we slow down a little bit?” but never did you hear “Can we stop?” – every girl kept going and finished strong!
Everyday KidsTLC clients continue to put one foot in front of the other and never stop, despite the obstacles they might face. Thanks to generous volunteer coaches and dedicated staff, our girls enjoyed an amazing Girls on the Run Spring season and life changing Final 5K! “1-2-3 Girls on the Run is So Much Fun!”