Mid-Missouri girls face cold to complete goal

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COLUMBIA - Mid Missouri girls from eight Girls on the Run programs faced the cold and met at the A. L. Gustin golf course Saturday, to complete their goal of running a 5K and celebrate the past ten weeks of training. 

This is Heart of Missouri Girls on the Run's 4th year of celebrating the program. Girls on the Run holds two races a year, one in the fall and in spring. The program is for 3rd to 5th grade girls and is made to inspire them to be joyful, healthy, and confident. 

Director Sara Loveless said the girls have been waiting for this all season. 

"The girls have been a part of a ten week season, and two times a week they have met with their coaches and their team. Today is the big culmination of that ten week season," Loveless said. 

She said completing this 5K means a lot to the girls. 

"For a lot of girls this is the eptimity of accomplishment, the idea of running a 5K at the begining of the season was so overwhelming, they just couldnt even grasp that concept," Loveless said. "And now here they are."

One Girls on the Run participant explained why she was excited and proudly said that it was her sister's first year. 

"When I finish, I'll get a medal and I'll be happy," Runner Alon Jordan said. 

This season, founder of the international Girls on the Run organization Molly Barker was in attendance. Barker founded Girls on the Run in North Carolina in 1996.

She could be seen in the crowd talking with girls and parents. She stood in front of the group of girls and their families asked them to chant with her.

"I am strong, I am powerful, I am beautiful, I am loved, I am a girl on the run!" Barker said.

Barker will also be speaking at the Mizzou Leadership Academy's conference Saturday afternoon.