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BALTIMORE - Girls on the Run starts with girls sitting. If that doesn't make sense, think of it like this: Before girls get on their feet with confidence, there is some heavy training.
On this day, girls at John Ruhrah Elementary and Middle School in Southeast Baltimore were told to squeeze some toothpaste onto the grass.
"I want to know how this is like gossiping," asked coach Kristie McManus.
McManus makes the point that toothpaste is like gossip, once it's out you can't put it back in. It's a tool to start a conversation.
"When you gossip it's like all over everybody. And when you try to put it back in, it has dirty stuff in it," added one girl.
This afterschool program is teaching young girls how to be good people. And they do run.
"Gossiping is just like another way of saying people are talking behind your back, like close go bullying," said Luisa Osorio, who participates in Girls on Track
They run their feet while they run those lessons through their heads.
"I've heard like a lot of people like committed suicide. And I don't want that to happen to my friends so I try to be there for them. And if someone is getting hurt because of rumor, they can always come to me," said Marilin Medrano, who participates in Girls on Track.
Thanks to the program, girls are open with their coaches, who are also teachers at the school.
"They did become more real and raw with us," said Kristie McManus, a Girls on the Run coach. "They come into my classroom after school, even after the program is over, ready to share something else," she said.
It is that sharing and caring that allows these girls to finish a 5k at the end of the semester. But it was all possible thanks to Corrigan Sports and a partnership that allows ABC2 News’ Cheryl Conner to be a charity chaser for the Baltimore 10-Miler.
For every runner she passes, Girls on the Run gets a dollar. It is the third year Cheryl has run the race to support GOTR.
"It was a new program that we were able to offer at John Ruhrah, and in the Spring they were able to do Girls on the Run and Girls on Track," said Lara Mish, Exec. Dir., Girls on the Run of the Greater Chesapeake
ABC2 is a proud sponsor of the Baltimore 10-Miler. The race is on June 14 at the Baltimore Zoo. It starts at 7:30 a.m.