PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – About 1,100 pairs of sneakers hit the pavement at Paine’s Park in Philadelphia on Saturday morning.
“I recently lost 103 pounds and I took on long distance to keep the weight off,” said Break Smith, who recently moved to Philadelphia from Richmond, Virginia.
This workout is nothing compared to the challenge the eighth annual Stroehmann Back On My Feet 5-Miler hopes to win – the one against homelessness.
“We help our individuals to be accountable and to increase their self-esteem and motivate themselves out of homelessness,” said Rebecca Little, an organizer for the Back On My Feet Philadelphia organization.
Back On My Feet is a national organization that fights poverty through the power of running and community support.
It also provides employment and housing resources. The local chapter hosts smaller runs throughout the year.
“In order to participate in our program, you have to maintain 90 percent attendance at our morning runs,” said Little.
The goal is to push you in the right direction.
Artie White vouches that it’s a life-changing organization.
“It changed my life because I was an heroin addict,” said White, a member of Back On My Feet.
Once homeless, White turned to Back On My Feet for support and now he’s a changed man.
“I was in a recovery house, now I’m a house manager at two recovery houses,” said White.
Organizers say they had more than 100 walk-ups registering for the event.
It’s the most they’ve have since starting the race.
The Stroehmann brand gave away 2,000 loaves of bread to participating families.
The business has helped raise $110,000. The money will allow Back On My Feet to help those battling homelessness make it across the finish line.