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Girls on the Run takes over downtown Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Runners big and small took to the streets of downtown Grand Rapids on Saturday for the 20th annual Girls on the Run 5K.

The race is organized by the West Michigan chapter of the nonprofit Girls on the Run, which is focused on developing girls’ social, emotional and physical skills.

“Together, they experience a sense of belonging and connection as a team. Volunteer coaches facilitate lessons that blend physical activity with life skill development, including managing emotions, fostering friendships and expressing empathy,” the organization’s website states.

  • Calder Plaza served as home base for the 20th annual Girls on the Run 5K on May 18, 2024 in downtown Grand Rapids. (WOOD TV8)
    Calder Plaza served as home base for the 20th annual Girls on the Run 5K on May 18, 2024 in downtown Grand Rapids. (WOOD TV8)
  • Calder Plaza served as home base for the 20th annual Girls on the Run 5K on May 18, 2024 in downtown Grand Rapids. (WOOD TV8)
    Calder Plaza served as home base for the 20th annual Girls on the Run 5K on May 18, 2024 in downtown Grand Rapids. (WOOD TV8)
  • Runners head to the starting line of the 20th annual Girls on the Run 5K in downtown Grand Rapids on May 18, 2024. (WOOD TV8)
    Runners head to the starting line of the 20th annual Girls on the Run 5K in downtown Grand Rapids on May 18, 2024. (WOOD TV8)
  • Runners participate in the 20th annual Girls on the Run 5K in downtown Grand Rapids on May 18, 2024. (WOOD TV8)
    Runners participate in the 20th annual Girls on the Run 5K in downtown Grand Rapids on May 18, 2024. (WOOD TV8)
  • Runners participate in the 20th annual Girls on the Run 5K in downtown Grand Rapids on May 18, 2024. (WOOD TV8)
    Runners participate in the 20th annual Girls on the Run 5K in downtown Grand Rapids on May 18, 2024. (WOOD TV8)
  • Supporters cheer on runners as they head toward the finish line of the Girls on the Run 5K on May 18, 2024, in downtown Grand Rapids. (WOOD TV8)
    Supporters cheer on runners as they head toward the finish line of the Girls on the Run 5K on May 18, 2024, in downtown Grand Rapids. (WOOD TV8)
  • Runners participate in the 20th annual Girls on the Run 5K in downtown Grand Rapids on May 18, 2024. (WOOD TV8)
    Runners participate in the 20th annual Girls on the Run 5K in downtown Grand Rapids on May 18, 2024. (WOOD TV8)
  • A police officer leads the runners to the finish line of the Girls on the Run 5K in downtown Grand Rapids on May, 18, 2024. (WOOD TV8)
    A police officer leads the runners to the finish line of the Girls on the Run 5K in downtown Grand Rapids on May, 18, 2024. (WOOD TV8)

Every season concludes with a community project and a 5K to provide “a tangible sense of accomplishment and sets a confident mindset into motion.”

The Girls on the Run program is offered for third through fifth graders across West Michigan. Another GOTR program, Heart and Sole, caters to sixth through eighth graders.

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