Homeless runners hope half marathon training in Pontiac gives them new start in life

PONTIAC, Mich. (WXYZ) - They are homeless, but proving they are not powerless. Training for a half marathon is giving this unique group of runners hope for tomorrow.

They know the struggles of being homeless, But instead of focusing on despair and hopelessness, a unique group is setting their sights on a goal few achieve - running a half marathon.

For the next three months, the streets of Pontiac will be their training ground.
Each mile the runners complete, puts them one step closer to a better tomorrow.

Before the early morning run- a pep talk. Then it's time for shoes to hit the pavement.

Jeff Gibbs leads the way as a coach and mentor to the men and women that signed on for a challenge that is sure to change their lives.

Kenneth Hall says, "Half marathon, I was like ‘Oh my God', that's far, very far, but I'm going to try."

Scott Wiltsie says, "It's an odd thing, homeless training, for marathon, way I look at it, we are people like every other person."

It was in the rhythm of running Jeff was able to find peace. His parents were homeless.

"After I was taken away my father died just down the road, under the tree" he says.

The runners are being sponsored, and they hope to raise additional money for area shelters.

First graders pitched in almost $500 to help pay for the running clothes. Hanson's running shop donated new shoes.

They have until June to train for The First Steps 5k and 1/2 Marathon.

But this race is about so much more than the finish line.


Running poster


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