WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Several Washington D.C. athletes are training to ride their bicycles from the Nation’s Capital to Brooklyn.
If 270 miles on a bicycle isn’t enough of a challenge, once the group makes it to Brooklyn, they will immediately hop off their bikes and run in the Staten Island half marathon.
What’s the motivation that will drive them to the finish line on October 9?
The young men and women in D.C. are going through a program called “Run, Hope, Work.”
The founder, Jose Ortiz, started the organization to help young adults become motivated, find jobs and avoid obesity.
“I see it in the inner cities,” Ortiz said.
“It’s sort of a mental disease in that they don’t know what work is.”
Ortiz himself went through a very rough period of drugs and homelessness.
“I started running when I was 37 and in that moment it sort of came together for me,” Ortiz said.
Tyler Brown, Run, Hope Work’s new Executive Director, said the first part of the program is a morning run three times a week. It’s followed by inspirational workshops where the participants are connected with successful people who came from the same D.C. neighborhood as the men and women in the program.
The final part of the program is to teach the young adults a trade – like carpentry – so they can secure a job. Brown said knowing there’s a group of people in the community that’s willing to ride a bicycle 270 miles and then run a half marathon is a great example to the adults going through the program.
“Most of them feel cut off from the rest of the city, from that professional community, they don’t run into those kind of people,” Brown said.
“So when they see those folks invested in them, my God, what a change. They start to see themselves as a part of the great community.”
Ortiz said the ride is open to anyone. The deadline to register is October 2.
For more information, visit: www.runhopework.org.