Run from San Luis Obispo to Pismo Beach in City to Sea 2018
Internationally-ranked ultra marathoner Mario Mendoza — who grew up in Cambria and ran cross country at Coast Union High School — regularly challenges himself in brutal 50- and 100-mile competitive mountain endurance runs.
His strong finishes — in June he completed a 100-mile mountain endurance race (from California to Oregon) 16th among 299 runners — position him among the world’s elite athletes.
Now, Mendoza (an Oregon resident) is returning to his roots and challenging San Luis Obispo County athletes to accompany him as he attempts a fundraising 100-mile run Nov. 10 from Montana de Oro to Cambria in less than 24 hours. He calls it, “A Run For Community…100 Miles to Build a Bridge.”
The five-time USA Trail National Champion — who ran the hills of San Simeon Creek Road in Cambria as a kid — refers to himself as an American citizen raised by Mexican immigrants. A pastor in Oregon, Mendoza is asking 5K runners, cross country competitors, fitness buffs and others to join him for one leg of his run or to accompany him for the full 100 miles.
He said his mission is to “bridge cultures and promote inclusion” and to “lift people up” through running.
“Organically, running provides a way to teach people more about who they are and where they can find joy, peace and love,” he said.
Mendoza is asking runners to “challenge yourself to do something bigger than you think you can do… that’s my inspiration.”
Everyone is looking for “…deeper connection in life,” he added.
Mendoza’s charity, the Beautiful Feet Project, will benefit financially from his effort.
The nonprofit seeks to provide “positive activism” for the two cultures in a time of “division and border issues.” Those who accompany him are asked to raise funds through pledges for their preferred nonprofits, as well.
The event is sponsored by the Sophidion Foundation and the Yudovin 100. For information on how to run with Mendoza, call Steve Kniffen at 805-858-8252.