A local running and fitness store hosted their first half-marathon and first large race since the start of the pandemic.
After several months of training, kids from the Course for Change program were ready to hit the ground running at the inaugural Red Coyote Half-Marathon.
Course for Change is a program that provides at-risk youth with a mentor and emphasizes physical fitness to help create positive experiences. Caziah Holloway said her mentor taught her she can do anything she wants as long as she believes in herself.
“I say I can so that, when I run, I can be more positive and go faster,” Holloway said.
Holloway hasn’t run a marathon before, but she believes she's ready after training three times a week with her mentor and others in the Boathouse District program.
“They're not necessarily kids who thought of themselves as athletes,” Riversport Foundation director of corporate engagement and youth outreach Melanie Borger said. “They were just kids who wanted to take on a challenge and be the best version of themselves.
“Even more in our ‘Thrive Outside’ initiative, I think there's something more about being physically active and being in the outdoors and engaging with nature that really is good for not only you're physical, but almost your physical and emotional health,” Borger said.
The kids in the program were able to accomplish their goal along with about 800 other runners in the Red Coyote Half-Marathon.
“I think everybody has been missing this social aspect that we lost a little over a year ago, so even though we're still slightly spread out, out here it's going to be fun to say, ‘Hey, I’m out here with other runners. We're out on the trails together,’” Red Coyote Running and Fitness founder Jon Beck said. “We're all trying to finish and accomplish the same run together.”
The half-marathon is benefitting the Course for Change program. Course of Change officials said they're looking for more kids as they prepare for a marathon coming this fall.
For more information on how to join, click here.