Thousands of runners lace up to empower young girls

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - Thousands of girls took over the streets of downtown for the bi-annual Girls on the Run 5K.

The Girls on the Run 5K is the largest timed 5K in Missouri and most of the runners are girls under the age of 14.

8,000 runners participated in run down Market Street.

Girls on the Run is a non-profit for girls 3rd through 8th grade, with the purpose of empowering girls.

In the program girls train for a 5k with their peers and coaches and during training they do interactive lessons about self-esteem and confidence.

Volunteer coaches work at 250 different schools and community sites around Missouri and Illinois.

As the girls take off for the 5K there are plenty of people running with them and lining the course to cheer them on.