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Brenda

Is a graduate student studying to be a physician assistant.  Originally from the Bay Area, she starting in LA to meet new friends.   She saw the Skid Row Marathon and figured she would run just once.   She came out that one time and is now hooked.  You will see her at all the runs, not only taking wonderful pictures but also actively managing our social media accounts.

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Griselda

Griselda is a LAPD Officer with the Central Division downtown, which includes Skid Row.  She is not only a regular part of the running club but also a mentor to other runners.  She participated with the club in running two marathons this year in the span 8 days, the Jerusalem Marathon and LA Marathon.

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Nathan

A serious runner!  He likes to run ultra marathons but when he is not running he is a professor at the Pasadena Art Institute.  He heard about the running club thru the Skid Row Marathon documentary, but when he was unable to get tickets, he decided to check out the club for himself.  He is one of the club's strongest runners.   Last year, he decided he wanted to run the entire length of the Los Angeles River, 52 miles.  He did it in under 11 hours.  Members of the run club ran segments of it with him to keep him company.

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Derek

“April 8th, 2015 – I left Memphis to come out here to recover from alcoholism. It took over my life and I had no way of defeating it. It destroyed me – it did. And the only thing left for me to do was surrender to God and I did that. I always knew that once you get rid of one habit, you have to replace it with a new habit. I lost my job one time and wasn’t doing good in school and those were triggers. You feel it and you don’t want to feel it. You want to numb this failure that you put yourself through and you know how to do it, because you’ve done it for 40 years. I couldn’t go back because of running. I couldn’t disappoint them. I couldn’t disappoint myself. So the running club kept me sober and as I do it, things start coming back together for me – the school and the job – I kept going forward. If I didn’t have the running club, me and you wouldn’t be talking now. I’d be back in my addiction and I’d be back in Memphis.”

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Mike

“I was never really spiritual. Both of my grandfathers were pastors and that didn’t take me to God. There comes a point where you want Him to be in your life. We all need Him; we just don’t know it. I had hit my bottom and I just couldn’t continue on the way I was living. I wanted to change and I just knew that I needed something greater than myself to get me out of it. So I just stayed in prayer. I prayed. I begged. I cried. And He responded. He got me out of this... turned my life around. I didn’t know that I would come to a point in my life where I’m putting others before myself. Working at the mission has been such an experience for me. Because you learn to just want to help other people, to show them a better way, that you don’t have to go through what you’re going through. It’s such a reward when you connect with someone spiritually. They just get it, and they’ll start crying and I’ll start crying. The reward that I get is just hard to explain. It’s God’s will that I’m here. It’s God’s will that I’m working at the mission. It’s God’s will that I’m part of the running club. For whatever His plan is, I know that it’s taken me somewhere and I don’t question it – I just go with it. It’s gonna take me to a better place, always.”

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Miguel

"I played a little bit of recreational soccer. Other than that, there was no running at all. I needed something strict, like doing something on a consistent basis, and something I never had before. I needed a group of people with a positive mindset, to take away the negativity that my life earlier on — it was all negativity. That’s why I joined. I wouldn’t do it without the high-fives or just people showing up. That means a lot. It helps my self-esteem and the way I look at things. And I’m setting goals, something I’ve never cared for before. It’s endless. I chose a sport that is endless, because you can always get better."