The Homeless are Now Running From LA’s Skid Row to Rome’s Marathon. How a Local Judge is Making a Difference

For most folks who love to run, preparing for and completing a marathon requires an enormous amount of effort, commitment and ongoing dedication. Imagine the multiplied difficulty of training for and completing a marathon when you are a homeless person striving to overcome drug and/or alcohol addiction.

The Honorable Craig Mitchell is a distinguished Los Angeles County Superior Court judge. He also has the distinction of being the founder of Los Angeles’ Skid Row Running Club.

Skid Row Marathon Trailer from Mark Hayes on Vimeo.

In 2012, Mitchell, a dedicated runner himself, visited the Midnight Mission recovery home in downtown Los Angeles at the invitation of a man whom he had previously sentenced to prison. After that fateful meeting, Mitchell decided to share his passion for running with homeless people struggling with substance abuse.

Judge Mitchell suggested that group running could provide the Midnight Mission residents with significant physical benefits, as well as mental focus and goal achievement; all known to be highly beneficial for men and women attempting to maintain sobriety.

The Skid Row Running Club began with only a handful of members, but now more than 20 regularly participate.

In addition to the thousands of hours that Judge Mitchell has dedicated to the SRRC, he has also purchased running shoes and gear for club members. More significantly, he gives club members who maintain consistent sobriety free trips to marathons in distant parts of the world. So far, club members have run marathons in Ghana, Rome, and Jerusalem.

“Skid Row Marathon” in the Los Angeles Film Festival

Now “Skid Row Marathon”, a documentary film which traces the history of the SRRC, has won awards at the 2017 Los Angeles Film Festival. The film’s trailer paints a gripping picture of how the SRRC is changing lives through running. As Judge Mitchell says in the trailer: “Giving someone from Skid Row an opportunity to run a marathon in a glorious city – it is incredibly empowering. It gives them dignity and this is what it’s all about.”

Film producer Gabriele Hayes, of Los Angeles, said her husband, director Mark Hayes, read a newspaper article about the group and wanted to share the story on film.

“It was really important to see one man make a difference in a small, but very effective way,” said Gabriele Hayes, adding that she’s been running with the group for four years.

You can read the full article at www.thelosangelesbeat.com.

The UFAI Education Team

The UFAI Education Team

For almost fifteen years, University Foot and Ankle Institute and their nationally recognized physicians have been providing the most technologically advanced medical care for the foot and ankle with the highest success rates in the country.

As a teaching institution, University Foot and Ankle Institute’s Fellowship Program is among the most advanced in the nation.

We at UFAI are driven to get our patients back to their normal activities with the highest level of function, in the least amount of time, using the least invasive treatments possible. From start to finish, we are with you every step of the way.

The UFAI Education Team works to help empower our patients and website visitors with the most up-to-date information about foot and ankle conditions, treatment options, recovery and injury prevention. Our goal is to pass on truly useful information to our readers.

We hope you enjoy our work and find it of value. Please let us know!
The UFAI Education Team

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

twelve − 6 =

  • Yelp
    I found Dr. Franson for a second opinion, after seeing an orthopedic specialist who misdiagnosed me and was about to cut my foot and ankle open. Dr. Franson put me at ease and ordered the appropriate MRI, which the ot...
    C.M.
  • Yelp
    Best doctor hands down. He has helped me so much, and he actually cares about you and wants the best for you.
    Gina V.
  • Yelp
    I have been suffering for a long time with pain in my toes. Thought it was just something I would have to deal with, my mom cannot even walk anymore due to her arthritis- I cried with relief to find out that Dr. Barav...
    Amanda W.
  • CustomerSure
    Dr. Baravarian and the Santa Monica office and staff are helping me stride ahead!
    Edward T.
  • CustomerSure
    I love Dr. Gary Briskin, Gray O' Brien & the physical therapy staff in Santa Monica. Super nice people, and very helpful getting me back on my feet!
    Kira L.
  • Yelp
    I am 4 weeks post surgery now and just got my cast off today. Dr. Franson is the BEST foot specialist I have ever been to. He is extremely kind, he's caring and compassionate. He truly cares about his patients and has...
    Kathleen C.
  • CustomerSure
    You all are very good at your job. So glad I am going here.
    Helena O.
  • CustomerSure
    Best experience I've ever had. Gary Briskin is wonderful! Treated decently without stress! Learned that daily pain is unnecessary. My toes are gonna cry "Tee-hee-hee", all the way home. Thanks, Dr. Briskin; I can ...
    Judith D,
  • CustomerSure
    I always return to Dr. Briskin and UFAI because I know I will receive excellent treatment from Dr. B and the staff.
    Marilyn W.
  • Yelp
    I am a huge fan of Dr. Bob. I play soccer for fun and have had my fair share of visits to his office. Each time he has been very quick in diagnosing the problem and finding a solution. It is frustrating other doctors ...
    Shahrad T.
Same day appointments now available!
or call 24/7:
  • University Foot & Ankle, a Preferred Provider to:
  • UCLA Health System - UCLA Medical Group
  • MPTF - Member Industry Health Network
  • Cirque du Soleil
  • ATP - Association of Tennis Professionals
  • And consulting physicians for:
  • C&S - Cedars-Sinai
  • Saint John's Health Center