LONG BEACH, CA – Up and Running Again, a non-profit organization, has partnered with the Long Beach Rescue Mission to train residents to run for The Fontana Days Half Marathon taking place June 4.
Eight members of the Long Beach Rescue Mission signed up for the race and completed their first week of training. The organization runs a 12-week training program that helps individuals from many rescue missions across the country with holistic growth and health; mental, physical and well-being.
Up and Running Again Program Coordinator Brittany Watrous has seen success and growth among runners.
“Through this process, they learn many life skills, challenging work and teamwork, which translate into many life goals they can set for themselves,” Watrous said. “You take these small steps, to end up with this big goal and this growth.”
Training takes place four days a week: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 5:30 a.m. at the Long Beach Rescue Mission.
Up and Running Again has had over 1,000 runners, who have completed a run, since it opened in 2009 across the West Coast of California, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, Colorado, Nevada , Michigan, South Dakota and Texas.
The Long Beach Rescue Mission was the second and is now the oldest mission Up and Running Again has partnered with. The mission has been a program partner for nine years now.
Up and Running Again started with the Orange County Rescue Mission before training with the Long Beach Rescue Mission.
People from rescue missions come from drug addiction, incarceration, homelessness, domestic violence, and more. .
“For them to get up four times a week so early in the morning and train is a huge step for them,” said Greg Clarke, executive director of Up and Running Again. “If you run with them and get to know the one of our runners you’ll walk away encouraged. You’ll start to wonder, “What’s my excuse?”
Running with the team and volunteers helps individuals build self-esteem, relationship skills and reach new milestones.
After reaching certain training milestones, the program congratulates them by taking them to a local shoe store where they purchase running shoes, pay for a local race entry, and host a banquet for friends and family to celebrate. with them.
An awards ceremony will be held on June 2 to congratulate the organizations’ runners. Up and Running Again welcomes and appreciates volunteers to help with the run and banquet.
For more information on Up and Running Again, visit here.
By Arlene Guerrero
Photo by Sandra Greenman
Local nonprofit uses running to motivate Rescue Mission residents