At the Running USA 2017 Conference awards dinner in Orlando, Florida on Sunday, Race SLO — a Central Coast endurance sports producer that puts on events such as the SLO Marathon and SLO Ultra trail races — was awarded a $10,000 grant that goes to one national youth program each year associated with the award.
Race SLO’s Grizzly Run Club is a training program launched in August 2012 aimed at helping students of the Grizzly Youth Academy, a San Luis Obispo residential high school program for at-risk teenage students. To date, 434 cadet students have successfully completed their first half marathon and 537 have also finished a 10K race as part of the club’s success, according to Race SLO.
“We are so honored and deeply grateful to be recognized by our industry peers and receive the national youth program award and its accompanying $10,000 grant,” Samantha Pruitt, Race SLO founder & CEO, said in a statement. “In all Race SLO’s contributions to our community, I am most proud of our Grizzly Run Club. Teaching these underprivileged teenagers to embrace the athlete’s life of discipline, focused work and rewards changes their lives forever. This grant allows us to further our company mission and legacy by providing running gear for our cadets as well as support our Run Club’s alumni after they graduate.”
Running USA’s annual Youth Program Award goes to the program that best advocates the benefits of youth running, collaborates to combat obesity and supports family and youth health initiatives.