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Special group of girls goes the distance in Bismarck Marathon – KFYR-TV

BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) – More than a thousand people competed in the Bismarck Marathon over the weekend.
Some tackled the full marathon, others challenged themselves with shorter races – everything from a 5K walk, a 5K run, a 10K run to a half marathon.
That in itself is good news, but there are so many inspiring stories from a race like this one.
Here is the story of one special group of girls who finished the 5K run.
This is an evening to reflect on a race completed and on goals crushed. These girls are members of BIO girls, a 12-week program designed to build self-esteem.
They also built endurance. The grand finale of the 12-weeks: running a 5K.
At the beginning of the 12-weeks, many of these girls weren’t sure they’d ever be able to run that far.
“I didn’t think I could even run a minute,” admitted nine-year-old Charli Grosz.
So imagine their surprise when they ran 3.1 miles without stopping.
“It was surprisingly pretty easy,” said Grosz.
“I was very nervous, but I did it,” said nine-year-old Tenley Ternes with a smile.
Along the way, they learned some important lessons
“I learned that if you try hard, you can do it, and never give up,” said Ternes.
“Anything is possible if you really try at it,” added Grosz.
“I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter what you look like, you can accomplish anything that you work at,” said 10-year-old Hannah Hintz.
This race was 13-year-old Aubrey Eckroth’s third 5K.
“I felt really confident,” Ekroth said.
Ekroth is in a wheelchair, so she relies on her arms to get her across the finish line.
“I just feel like everyone else,” she said.
But she knows by finishing races like this one, she might inspire someone else to try something new and chase their dreams.
“Anyone can do whatever they want to do and it doesn’t matter if you’re in a wheelchair or not,” said Eckroth.
It is simple advice that just may push more young girls to a little more like Eckroth.
Eckroth will age-out of BIO girls now that she’s 13. But she hopes to be back as a junior mentor next year, and eventually as an adult mentor.
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