(FOX 46 WJZY) - Girls on the run participants received a pleasant surprise this week. Thanks to the non-profit's donors and sponsors, many of the girls are now proud owners of some brand new, colorful kicks to run in.
Tuckaseegee Elementary participants were among those that received brand new shoes.
Running is both a mental and physical sport.
"They get that tangible sense of achievement when they cross that finish line," said Girls on the Run Charlotte Executive Director Carrie Hanson.
But to the girls running, it's also so much more than that.
"Your stamina doesn't matter because that's what we're working for," said 5th Grader Madison McKay.
Girls on the Run, an after school program that promotes healthy habits and teaches life-long lessons, serves third through eighth graders around the world.
"We serve about 6,000 girls in the Charlotte and surrounding areas," said Hanson.
While physical activity is an important part of the organization, the lessons the ladies walk away with last a lifetime.
"I always value Girls on the Run," said McKay. "Because it's a great way to empower girls to be amazing."
Thanks to Omega Sports and Asics, the girls aren't only walking away with memories and wisdom, but a new pair of kicks as well.
"Asics donated 50,000 pairs of shoes to Girls on the Run International," said Hanson. "We got about 300 of those pairs here in Charlotte, so we are distributing them as fast as we can to get them on the feet of our runners this season."
And the comfort on their feet channels the comfort the girls feel in their hearts, when they're out together—running and just being themselves.
"It makes you feel good to be somewhere with girls where you can be free and let yourself loose," said McKay. "And you don't have to be like everyone else."
Registration for Girls on the Run for the spring season begins in January. The 5k races for this season will be held on December 2 and December 9.