Student's life-changing path to Broad Street Run

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April 25, 2014 2:50:14 PM PDT
A local student, one of the many athletes training for the Blue Cross Broad Street Run, says the journey has transformed both his body and his mind.

One year ago, 16-year-old Matt Lopez never dreamed he'd be running the ten mile race.

He said he was sluggish and overweight - and wanted to change.

"I didn't feel like I was living to my full potential," he said.

So he joined 'Students Run Philly Style.' It's a mentoring program that uses long distance running to transform young people's lives.

Matt lost 50 pounds - and improved his grades at school.

"Now I am bringing home A's and it makes me feel really good about myself," Matt said.

He's also bringing home healthy habits. He and his mom are now eating healthier -more lean protein and veggies. His mom is also working out and has lost 20 pounds.

"I have more to go but I have my personal trainer here and I am very proud of him," she said.

Heather McDaniel, the founder of Students Run Philly Style, says running is the ultimate confidence booster - which can help point kids down a path of success.

"I think running is self-proving. He owns every mile he put in and when he gets that medal, he did it all himself," Heather said.

"I like who I am better, not just with weight. It changes your life overall," Matt said.

Matt also credits his high school - Cristo Rey- for his success.

He says he is a bit nervous but excited for the Broad Street Run next weekend.


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