'Skid Row Marathon' to enjoy encore

'Skid Row Marathon' to enjoy encore

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Runners Against Destructive Decisions, which sponsors the Santa Run, and the Bismarck Tribune will present an encore showing of the documentary “Skid Row Marathon” on March 4.

The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Grand Theatres.

The documentary tells the story of a Los Angeles judge, Craig Mitchell, who forms a running club on Skid Row and helps its members get a second chance at life while battling their addictions. Mitchell now takes some of the runners to events around the world.

South Central District Judge David Reich of Bismarck organized a similar group in the Bismarck-Mandan community, Runners Against Destructive Decisions, and launched the Santa Run. RADD’s an early morning running group that offers support for people recovering from addiction. The Santa Run helps raise awareness about addiction along with money to support RADD and other recovery programs. This year’s run will be the sixth.

“We hear about the negative aspects of addiction in the news every day,” Reich said. “We organize the Santa Run on behalf of RADD each year to raise awareness of addiction issues in our community and to provide hope and to celebrate success stories in sobriety. One of my favorite sayings is by an author of running books by the name of John ‘The Penguin' Bingham. He wrote: ‘The miracle isn’t that I finished, the miracle is that I had the courage to start.’ I am so proud of all of the RADD runners who have had the courage to start.”

RADD showed the documentary in December in Bismarck. Tribune publisher Gary Adkisson was so impressed by the film that he asked Reich if the documentary could be screened again. Grand Theatres agreed to provide a theater for the showing.

“There is so much I could say about this movie and the running program, but in the words of the participants, it’s about dignity. Throughout the movie, you hear participants talk about regaining their dignity, regaining a feeling of self-worth and value,” Adkisson said.

RADD and the Tribune have invited professionals and officials involved in addiction issues to attend the film. There will be a limited number of tickets available to the public after Feb. 27. Those interested will need to register and print a ticket at www.eventbrite.com/e/skid-row-marathon-screening-registration-55669787834.

There will be a short program before the film is shown at 6 p.m. After the documentary, there will be a 30-minute question-and-answer session. Tom and Brenna Gerhardt will lead the programs and Reich and Adkisson also will speak along with some members of RADD. Donations will be accepted to support RADD and the Santa Run.

“For those who choose to come along side those in recovery, this movie illustrates that even a small commitment of time can make a huge difference,” Adkisson said.

Reach Steve Wallick at 701-250-8247 or steve.wallick@bismarcktribune.com.

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