We just finished week one of the 14 week Up and Running Again program. This week has been full of surprises. Some good and even great surprises and others I would say are challenges.
On Monday July 2nd, the sixth Up and Running Again program started with 91 runners from six organizations around Orange County, Long Beach and now Sacramento. These groups ranged from the OC Rescue Mission, Nova Academy, Mercy House (new team), Long Beach Rescue Mission, El Dorado Inn (new team) and Cottage Housing (new team)in Sacramento.
The Long Beach team has started out great. Last year was our first partnership with the LB Rescue Mission. We ended up getting six individuals through the race. This year word has spread and over 18 guys have been out training to change their lives. I spoke with several individuals who have quit smoking to train for the half marathon. I also met a runner who never ran for more than a few blocks before starting our program. He ran for 1.75 miles this past Saturday.
At our Cottage Housing team, we had over 25 individuals training to run a half marathon. This has been our first team located outside of the Orange/LA county area. Our volunteer Larry Bertrand is leading this team and they are off to a fantastic start. Larry heard the Up and Running Interview on the Hugh Hewitt radio show and contacted our organization to start a club. So far this has been a very positive experience. We are excited to see many of these individuals cross the finish line in the Urban Cow half marathon in Sacramento.
One of the challenges so far has been our team at the El Dorado Inn in Anaheim. This team has been started in partnership with the EV Free Fullerton Church. This site is the location of a homeless motel. We knew that there would be challenges with this team. All of our other teams are supported by a nonprofit organization. The nonprofit has insight into the individuals lives and also the ability to hold the individuals accountable.
So far we have only had 3 runners from the El Dorado Inn. We actually had zero runners on day 1. We are committed to seeing this team succeed at this site.
We are excited about our progress this summer and look forward to seeing what will happen in week 2.
As always, if you would like to partner with us as a volunteer or contributor, please contact us.