“Where the heck is that finish line?”

“Where the heck is that finish line?” “This is the worst parade ever!” and “Don’t give up!” were written on some of the posters held by fans cheering on the runners at the ASICS LA Marathon. While the athletes speedily, or not so speedily, ran by the fans they were thinking, relax the shoulders, pump your arms faster, and drink water! More than 21,000 people showed up at Dodger Stadium on Sunday, March 9, with a goal they never thought possible waiting for them on the other side of the finish line. These runners put in hundreds of hours of training for the chance to finally prove to themselves and anyone who doubted they would become a marathoner.

Team GCHope had 13 amazing runners who volunteered to run the marathon and raise awareness about the vulnerable children and families in Orange County and around the world that GCHope supports. These runners were able raise more than $3,000 for the families GCHope serves! At mile 16, Team GCHope had a cheer station set up with family members of runners and GCHope staff yelling words of encouragement. Our runners said they were so overjoyed to see a crowd of people there to support them as they ran.

Did you know we also had three staff members running?! Yes, three of our very own ran half of the marathon each, taking on the literal meaning of actions speak louder than words. Congrats and a huge thank you to our Executive Director Sean Lawrence, Communications Coordinator Carly Visbal, and Founder John Ditty for finishing the half marathon! Also a big thank you to Board Member Michael Kim for running the full marathon!

The event was incredible and inspiring for all who witnessed the runners endure 26.2 miles in mid-80 degree heat. GCHope is so incredibly proud of all our runners – Pam Johnson Sanchez, Gary Worrall, Josiah Ditty, Shirley To, Michael Rosa, Courtney Hochstetler, Jesse Drucker, Bonnie Romero, and Stephen O’Mahoney. We are happy to welcome these athletes into the Team GCHope Hall of Fame!

Courtney Hochstetler, GCHope’s Founder, John Ditty, Josiah Ditty, Communications Coordinator, Carly Visbal, and GCHope’s Executive Director, Sean Lawrence.

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Pam Johnson Sanchez and her brother, Steve.                                Bonnie Romero and                                                                                                                                              her boyfriend, Junior.

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