Mendoza's 50K record raises fund for Madras athletics
On Jan. 14, Mario Mendoza Jr. broke the 50K treadmill world record with a time of 2:59.06.
Mendoza, an elite, world-renowned trail runner, ran a little over 31 miles in the Madras High School gym, beating the previous world record time of 2:59.49.
The treadmill run was intended to do much more than just break a world record. Mendoza hoped to inspire the youths at Madras High School. He wanted to show them that people are capable of great things if they are willing to believe and put in the work.
Mendoza is also a pastor and motivational speaker, as well as a five-time USA Trail National Champion and four-time USA Trail Runner of the Year, among many accolades.
He also does a lot of work with youths in the community, especially through Madras High School, and he runs a club for kids in Madras, working for Central Oregon Youth for Christ.
Mendoza announced on Feb. 25 that his world record raised $5,500 for COYFC.
The treadmill run also raised $1,200 for Madras High School athletics, and $10,000 worth of gear will go directly to the Madras Track and Field program.
Roughly $7,000 came from donations, mostly from outside the area. People donated money from Bend to California; one donor was even from France.
"It was from all over," Mendoza said. "Most was from outside of Madras, which I was kind of happy about, to use like other resources."
The Madras Runner Group donated $600 straight to the track program and Madras High School athletics.
"They are awesome and give money to the track team every year, which is great," said Mendoza.
A Brooks Running Booster Club grant added $12,400 plus $2,000 cash. Brooks Sports, also known as Brooks Running, is an American company that designs and markets running shoes, clothing and accessories. The company sponsors Mendoza as a professional runner.
"They basically put that in my contract." Mendoza said. "I asked them to put it in my contract, so for two years they are committed; they can't take it back now. Basically, they are allowing me to divide that the way I want. I am giving $10,000 straight to the track team and $2,400 of gear is for my kids at City Life and $2,000 for expenses to go on short little trips with them.
"The cool thing is it is for two years," he said. "I already have a bunch of shoe orders and gear orders for the track team and the kids at City Life. It is training gear, so the first priority was to get them shoes, good shoes. For the few kids that do have good shoes already, we are giving them racing shoes. We are going by priority. I wish I could get kids both training shoes and racing shoes, but it is funny. The amount sounds like a lot, but when you start counting 50 kids here, 20 kids here, it is not that much, but at least it is something."
Mendoza is very excited to be able to provide shoes and gear as soon as this upcoming track season.
"I am just happy that there was a tangible that we could also do," Mendoza said. "I think for me, the dream for the event was to just inspire and give them something to visually see, to chase after. To be able to actually say, 'Here is something tangible that you can use, and it applies to this year.' It was very exciting. I was super stoked about Brooks getting excited about it. I actually tried to get this grant last year, but I think it took for them to see this whole event and the excitement around it, and then they wanted to do it. I told them I want it for two years and they made the deal. To me, that is my favorite part so far from what has come out of it. I am just excited, and there are a lot of kids on the track team that are excited to work hard. We are moving somewhere."
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