SAN ANTONIO – Runners will lace up their shoes bright and early Saturday morning for the fourth annual Street2Feet 5K
The race is sponsored by SAMMinistries and was started by a group of homeless people working to rebuild their lives through running.
News 4 tagged along on their training and found inspiration in a man who went from alcoholic to half-marathon runner in six months.
The secret every runners knows: it’s not about strength or speed – it’s salvation.
"I know that I can always count on running,” Marvin Williamson says. “It takes my mind off everything."
Because never in a million years did Williamson think he’d be homeless.
"It can happen to anybody. Quickly, too,” he says. “It happens fast and you don't realize it."
It wasn’t always this way. Williamson was self-employed and when the economy slowed down, so did his business.
"I started leaning on the alcohol to adjust to the pain and suffering,” he says.
He hit rock-bottom and entered a treatment program. That’s when he turned to running and trained for a half-marathon.
"It's been awhile now since I've got a goal, a long-term goal,” Williamson said he thought at the time. “I think it's one that can be reached."
And he reached that goal, thank to his running group at Garcia Park.
"It's been very inspirational,” Navarra Williams with SAMMinistries says. “It does help me reflect on the fact that your physical well-being, your health is an important aspect of getting out of homelessness."
Williamson’s running group trains several days a week for the Street to Feet race.
"I learned to be accountable to people because others are counting on me, so I need to make good decisions,” he says.
That means he has to stay on the wagon.
"No drinking. No drinking,” Williamson says. “Actually, I haven't drank in six months."
He’s now in SAMMinistries’ job training program and wants to become a counselor.
"I don't ever want to forget where I came from and the struggles I had,” Williamson says.
His journey proves it’s possible – in six months – to go from street to feet.
The Street2Feet 5K
starts Saturday morning at 8 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, located downtown at 404 North Alamo. There’s also a fun run for kids.Click here to learn how to sign up on race day.