Preparing for 5k builds self esteem, teaches life skills and promotes good health

A scene from the 2018 Girls on the Run 5k event in Marquette. (Courtesy of Girls on the Run of Marquette)

By Elizabeth Fust
In early June, girls who have been training for months will be running, maybe even dancing, across the finish line of the Confidence 5K, a fundraiser and season-end event for the U.P. chapter of Girls on the Run. This 5K isn’t just for Girls on the Run; members of the community are invited to participate in order to support and learn about Girls on the Run.
The program was started in 1996 in North Carolina with 13 third- through sixth-grade girls; the organization has now reached over a million participants across the country. Girls on the Run first came to the U.P. by way of Cindy Merkel, a retired institutional researcher at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste Marie.
The organization has expanded west in the U.P. with teams of Girls on the Run reaching to Hancock and Hannahville. The program started in Marquette last year with 18 participants and now has capacity for 60. Sloan Dorr, Girls on the Run program director, attributes the growth in capacity to the increase in volunteers…

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