Runs help residents get back on track - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Runs help residents get back on track

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These runners take it one step at a time, drawing their strength from within and from above. These runners take it one step at a time, drawing their strength from within and from above.
Ryan Althaus Ryan Althaus
Pamela Gatson Pamela Gatson
Amanda Turner Amanda Turner

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - They are a unique bunch of marathoners who get up bright and early every Wednesday to hit the streets.

Running is about endurance and pushing yourself to reach the finish line.

"When I got into it, it was exciting," one of the runners, Pamela Gatson, said.

These runners take it one step at a time, drawing their strength from within and from above.

"Thank you for Wayside Lord," Gatson said as she prayed along with the group called Run Possible. Most of the runners are homeless or recovering from addiction.

"It went from I'm an addict to, I'm an alcoholic to, I'm an athlete," said Sweaty Sheep trainer Ryan Althaus.

This Wednesday, the group received new sneakers that were donated to Wayside Christian Mission.

To really understand the road they have traveled, you would have to walk in their shoes.

"My son was murdered," Gatson said. "He was 30 when he was taken from me."

Gatson said the pain stemming from his murder was too much to take, "It caused me to spiral out of control a little faster than I wanted to."

Gatson has been at Wayside for 10 months. For her running has proven to be a confidence builder.

"Most thing I say is, 'I'm a conqueror. I'm victorious at whatever I do, put my mind to it. I can do it,'" she said.

She said she knows her son is cheering her on, "He would be so proud of me."

Across the hall from Gatson, Amanda Turner keeps a picture of her daughters close. She said her third DUI was her wake up call.

"I had driven with them in the back seat of my car," Turner said. "It was disturbing to me and it was alarming."

Turner is a former runner. This time she plans on sticking with it to get well, for her family and herself. 

"I want to do better. I know I can do better," she said.

The training is a way for her and others to get back on their feet. Their goal is to run the Kentucky Derby Festival half marathon in 2015.

The shoes, shirts and other gear worn by the group was donated by local shops and residents. The program is organized by volunteers. 

For more information about the group runPossible, click here.

Copyright 2014 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

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