Brooks gives Madras High $10K in gear
The Madras High School track program recently received $10,000 in shoes and gear from Brooks Running.
The gift of gear came through the efforts of Mario Mendoza Jr., the professional ultra distance runner who also runs Madras-based City Life program for the Youth for Christ organization.
The award will be matched by a similar amount next year as it's a two-year program.
Brooks Running is a sponsor of Mendoza, who this past winter set a world record for the 50-kilometer run on a treadmill, a feat he achieved at the Madras High School gymnasium. Many high school students were there to cheer him to the record.
Mendoza said he applied for the grant for MHS last year but it was not awarded. But when Brooks officials saw the video of how the MHS students got behind treadmill record effort, they were eager to award the grant to the White Buffalo program.
"After they saw the video, they said they should have given Madras the grant last year. They were so impressed," said Mendoza.
The equipment was presented to MHS Coach Eddie Adams and his program on June xx.
"What a great gift from a great man and a great company," said Adams. "This gear will help our athletes so much while training and staying active. It was also a great bright spot in an otherwise dark and weird time we are in. I am so happy that we have been a part of something like this."
The gear is not uniforms for the program, but running shoes, shirts and shorts to inspire the students to stay active and exercise year-round.
Mendoza noted that the entire grant was for $12,400, but $2,400 was earmarked for the young people in the Youth for Christ program in Madras, which Mendoza has been involved for about a year and a half.
He's driven to serve and inspire these young people.
"I feel connected to these kids. I can relate to them," said Mendoza. "I want them to know what's possible."
Mendoza, 34, grew up on an avocado farm in Central California. His high school didn't have a track program but it had a cross country team. But Mendoza's favorite sport in high school was soccer. He blossomed as a runner, he said, while at college, at St. Mary's of California.
Mendoza lives in Bend but works in Madras three days a week. He said he loves his job and has no plans to move on at this point.
Another treadmill record
Adding to his 50-kilometer world treadmill record set in Madras, Mendoza became the world record holder at 100 kilometers Saturday, June 6 in Eugene.
Mendoza didn't bring up the feat but chuckled about it when asked.
"Yes, it was hard," he said. "I thought we had an outside shot at it, doing it as sea level."
Mendoza eclipes the record by 70 seconds, knocking out 100 kilometers in 6 hours, 39 minutes and 26 seconds.
That's 62.137 miles.
Mendoza thinks the record will soon be challenged as many ultra distance runners are hopping on treadmills for competition as other events are being canceled due to the coronavirus.
Mendoza set the record at the Eugene Youth for Christ building.
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