It’s a simple mission: start with what you have and try to get better.
"It really doesn't matter if you're the fastest, it's the progress that matters," said Sophia Martinez, a 5 th grader in Girls on the Run.
Running is in our name, but for some of us it's not in our blood, and that's okay.
In Girls on the Run, we train third, fourth, and fifth graders to excel as people first, runners second. They tell us, growing up isn't so easy.
"When you leave elementary school, you kind of get all stressed out and you think maybe I'm not good enough for middle school, maybe I'm not ready, maybe all the other girls are smarter than me, and maybe I'm just not good enough to go to middle school," said Brynn Bogard, a 5 th grader in Girls on the Run.
Before the faces are painted and #1 is placed on every girl, there's a three-month curriculum that focuses on self-esteem, peer pressure, and bullying, those tough issues that every girl is running up against.
"Even if we're just planting a seed in the back of their mind and getting into their conscious somehow, that’s when they're in one of those situations maybe they'll think about it differently and act a little bit differently," said Susan Thaxton, Girls on the Run of the Greater Chesapeake Board President.
For one day, they are sitting out but not on their hands. The girls are taught to think beyond themselves.
This semester, they put their feet in other shoes while getting rid of their own.
The girls at Windsor Farm Elementary in Annapolis collected 240 pairs of old sneakers for another non-profit, Perpetual Prosperity Pumps Foundation.
The re-run allows poor people in Ghana to sell the shoes and buy what they need.
"Even though you're separate people and you don't know each other, it's just good to help others because you know you're doing something right," said Maya Sage, a 5 th grader in Girls on the Run.
This season, 11-year-old Maddy Hurley asked Coach Cheryl to be her buddy for the 5k race. She beat her best time by three minutes.
Go Maddy and every girl who works hard to cross the finish line, knowing it's not really the destination it's the journey.
"I've learned that it's important to push yourself not just in running but in life," said Hurley.
The girls will be at the finish line to run Cheryl home on Saturday. She will share the Baltimore 10 Miler course with 6500 registered runners.
For every runner Cheryl passes, a dollar will be donated by Corrigan Sports Enterprises to Girls on the Run. The money will help girls who can't afford the entrance fee each semester.
Girls on the Run is applying to expand into Baltimore City and County.