Long-distance run an act of faith for young offenders

Posted Aug. 12, 2011, at 4:51 p.m.

The Portland Press Herald reported recently on four young men from the Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland who participated in the annual TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K road race. Proceeds from this year’s race benefited the Day One youth substance abuse program in southern Maine.

“Run on a track and you can see the finish line. Running to the finish line at Fort Williams more than six miles away from the start is an act of faith.

Saturday morning, as they sat in a meeting room at Long Creek, a juvenile correctional facility, they really had no idea what awaits them next week. Dave Grant, a member of the Long Creek security team and coach of the newly formed track team this spring, surprised his runners by telling them he’ll introduce them to the course a day or two before the race.

“I just want to finish,” said Hamilton, while the other three nodded their heads. Stepping off the course because of fatigue is not an option. Their young lives have been punctuated by bad decisions, wrong choices. Next Saturday, they won’t be running from something. That might be a heady feeling to those whose freedoms have been curtailed.

Read the full story here.

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