It’s human nature to want to run away from adversity that comes your way.

Arrowhead staff and running coach Nick Cunningham is teaching troubled teens to sprint to action and deal with their issues in a positive way

“I told them that when they get here they are already runners, jokingly they’ve probably ran from cops at some point,” says Cunningham.

Nick Cunningham, known as coach, is a childcare worker who started the team seven years ago.

“We want to teach you not to run away from things. We want to kinda teach you to go outside your comfort zone, you know some of these kids have never done 5 ks.”

He says one trial run is what led the start of it all.

“You just kind of see them let that wall down a little bit and its nice to see them just kinda get more comfortable here because it is kind of a hard program when you first start.” 

The team has helped students like 15 year old Joshua, who is has dealt with vices of his own.

“It really helps me with my ADHD helps me keep me down, keeps me up and down you know keeps me not as hyper. So it really motivates me to be in the programs, it keeps me happy.”

And with the support of his peers and his coach, Joshua has won several metals.. 

“Everybody else was cheering me on especially mr. Cunningham our coach he really takes it seriously and wants us to do better,” says Joshua.

Post-practice entails reflective group meetings where coach Cunningham offers advice.

“Pull yourself back and into whats going on take a look from the outside and push yourself to do better and don’t feed into the negativity,” shares Joshua.

That’s a mentality coach Cunningham wants all students to run towards.

“Here its just giving me an opportunity to be a non-judgemental ear to some really interesting and unique stories. That’s what these kids need. They don’t need to be judge they need to be heard.”  

He says running is like life, what you get out of it, is what you put in.