Local Program Helps the Homeless Run Half Marathon

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- Running a half marathon is a big feat. So a new Sioux Falls program called Up and Running Again aims to help people reach that 13.1 mile mark. However, this program isn’t just about finishing a race, many are running for a bigger purpose. 

It’s 6:30 in the morning and several runners are ready to hit the bike trails in Downtown Sioux Falls. With the help of the program Up And Running Again, they are running towards a positive future. The thirteen week program trains those who seek to overcome economic poverty.

“This group of people, some of them have faced bigger challenges and maybe not had that encouragement or positive reinforcement and somebody saying ‘you can do it, I’ll be there with you, I’ll go through this process with you,’” said Head Coach Wendy Lenning.

The training helps the runners set goals and feel a sense of accomplishment that can translate into other aspects of their life. Right now four men are participating in the program, training four days a week. 

“When I first started I was nervous, but now I’m ready, I’m ready to just keep going, keep training. I want to do this, said participant Bradly Rushing.

Each participant is running for a reason. For Cody Woundedshield, it’s about overcoming his past.

“This is definitely something I felt like was going to be a life changing thing having come from a lot of addictions in the prior past. I felt like this was something that definitely was going to keep me grounded and focused on a new start,” said Woundedshield. 

Volunteers with knowledge of running like Linda Duba help with the training. 

“There’s a certain thing about when you push your body to do something, to set a goal and then as you strive for it, I think what that does for you is help build confidence and we all need confidence. I don’t care who you are, where you’re at in your life,” said Daba. 

Participants are already gaining some of that confidence. 

“In the past, I always thought I couldn’t really do much, but now, since I started running, I could do anything. I can push myself. There are people there that will help me push myself beyond limits,” said Rushing. 

Duba enjoys getting to know the runners and is proud to see them improve each week. 

“That’s what it’s all about, watching the strength that they’re building both physically as well as spiritually and mentally and they are,” said Duba. 

Until it’s time to run the half marathon, these runners will continue to transform their lives one mile at a time.

Participants will run in the Sioux Falls Half Marathon this September. There is no cost to participate and outfits and running shoes are provided to runners for free. 

For more information click here: https://www.facebook.com/URASiouxFalls/




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