Local Non-Profit uses Running to Motivate Rescue Mission Residents

LONG BEACH, CA- Up and Running Again, a non-profit organization, has partnered up with the Long Beach Rescue Mission to train residents to run for The Fontana Days Half Marathon that will take place on June 4th. 

Eight members of the Long Beach Rescue Mission have signed up for the race and finished their first week of training. The organization holds a 12-week training program that helps individuals of many rescue missions around the country with growth and holistic health; mental, physical, and well-being.  

Program Coordinator of Up and Running Again, Brittany Watrous, has seen success and growth within the runners.  

“Through that process, they’re learning a lot of life skills, challenging work, and teamwork, which translate towards many life goals they can set in their lives,” said Watrous. “You take those small steps, to end up with that big goal and growth.”

Training is held 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 finished a run, since opening in 2009 all over the West Coast in California, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, Colorado, Nevada, Michigan, South Dakota, and Texas. 

Long Beach Rescue Mission was the second and is now the longest-standing mission that Up and Running Again has partnered with. The mission has been partnered with the program for nine years now. 

 Up and Running Again first started with the Orange County Rescue Mission before training with the Long Beach Rescue Mission. 

Individuals from the rescue missions come from addictions, incarcerations, homelessness, domestic violence, etc. The goal of this run is to train individuals to have discipline as well as work hard while setting a long-term goal and having them accomplish something they never imagined.  

“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 for Up and Running Again “If you run with them and get to know one of our runners you’re going to leave encouraged. You’ll start asking yourself ‘What’s my excuse?”  

 Running with the team and volunteers helps individuals build up their self-esteem, relationship skills, and reach new milestones.  

After reaching certain milestones in training, the program congratulates them by taking them to a local shoe store where they buy running shoes, pay for a local race entry, and have a banquet for friends and family to celebrate with them.  

An award ceremony will be held on June 2 to congratulate the runners from the organizations. Up and Running Again welcomes and appreciates volunteers to help with the race and banquet.  

For more information on Up and Running Again, visit here.

By Arlene Guerrero 

Photo by Sandra Greenman

Local Non-Profit uses Running to motivate Rescue Mission Residents