Members of the Skid Row Running Club will be among the expected field of more than 2,500 runners for Sunday’s 15th annual OC Marathon, which will take runners from Newport Beach to Costa Mesa.
The club was founded in 2012 by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Craig Mitchell to provide a running program for the Skid Row community of Los Angeles and to involve the larger community in supporting its members in overcoming alcohol or drug abuse and achieving positive life goals.
The club seeks to empower individuals seeking help by developing a dedicated running program to keep its participants focused on their health and the well-being of their fellow members; providing mentor and mentee relationships amongst its members; participating in local, national and international running events to provide participants with opportunities for personal growth by being exposed to new locales, cultures and people; and develop, within participants, a commitment to give back to others, Mitchell said.
The club is the subject of a documentary, “Skid Row Marathon.”
The field also includes twins Sabrina and Regina Lopez of Alhambra, who have qualified for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, and 86-year-old Bowoo Lee of Cerritos.
The race’s charity partners include:
— Orange County United Way, which is seeking to increase Orange County’s high school graduation rate among students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds to 95% by 2024; cut the county’s childhood obesity rate by one-third by 2024; reduce the number of homeless families in the county to “functional zero” by 2024; and reduce family financial instability in the county by 25% by 2024;
— World Vision, the Christian humanitarian organization, which is seeking to provide clean water to 20 million people by 2020; and
— Free Wheelchair Mission, a faith-based nonprofit humanitarian organization that manufactures low-cost, durable wheelchairs for people living with a disability in developing nations;
The race has helped its charity partners raise more than $6 million, race publicist Erin Peacock told City News Service.
The 26-mile, 385-yard course begins in front of the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa, then goes through Corona del Mar and the Newport Harbor area.
The runners then enter Costa Mesa, pass the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, going around the South Coast Plaza and through Segerstrom High School.
The course continues for one mile in Santa Ana, then turns onto the Santa Ana River Trail for 1.5 miles, exiting at the Gisler foot bridge to run through the Mesa Verde neighborhoods and then the “Bird Streets.”
The race ends at the OC Fair and Event Center in Costa Mesa.
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