On March 18th, 2012, Team AMP was be up before the sun, checking their gear and ventured out into the cold misty morning, their breath clouding the air before their faces. Just as the sky begins to light, we joined throngs of other early-risers similarly clad in dri-fit and running shoes, all flocking towards the distinctive Dodger Stadium. Once inside, our team took their positions to get to the start line. Slowly, everyone inched towards the front, allowing the pros to first embark on their race. Finally, it began – the 26.2-mile journey from Stadium to Sea – the LA Marathon ending at the landmark Santa Monica Pier!
AMP stands for the “AADAP Marathon Program”, the first official marathon program of the Asian American Drug Abuse Program. Team AMP’s inception came with AADAP’s acceptance into the LA Marathon’s Official Charity Program in the spring of 2011. In this first year, we recruited 18 runners and raised over $23,000. The long-term goal is for AMP to become an annual program to promote health, fitness and mobilize the Asian Pacific Islander and recovery community behind a common cause.
The AMP program consists of two key components: training and fundraising. Each team member is committed to sacrificing sleep and to train for a period of 24-weeks, come rain or shine. In addition, each member is dedicated to fundraising a minimum of $1000 for AADAP’s programs, helping to ensure that critical recovery services are maintained.
So who has signed up for this tremendous task? Team AMP is a mix of marathon veterans to first time runners. Anyone and everyone can be a part of AMP. In order to ensure that all team members are ready for the marathon, AMP has partnered with Club 26.2, an official endurance-training program. Many AADAP staff members successfully stepped up to the challenge and will, hopefully, run the 2013 marathon. At some point, one may be asked the question, “Why are you running a marathon?” and everyone will have a different answer. Some are inspired to run for personal goals or others for weight loss. It has been said by finishing a marathon is one of the most fulfilling experiences of a lifetime. There are a number of reasons why people run, but in the end we are running to make a difference by being a part of Team AMP.
AADAP was established 40 years ago with the mission to serve young Asian Americans who needed a place to go to address substance abuse and delinquency. Today, many of those same problems still persist. According to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 21.8 million Americans said they used illicit drugs in the month prior to the survey. A common misconception that many individuals hold is that substance abuse is not their problem, and yet half of all Americans know someone who has used illegal substances and illegal drug use is a growing concern for everyone. AADAP provides critical recovery services, job training, prevention education and advocacy along with a host other services to over 21,000 individual throughout Los Angeles County every year. Team AMP is raising awareness and making an impact in the lives touched by substance abuse and we invite all of our supporters and community partners to join in this cause.
If you or anyone you know is interested in joining Team AMP, please contact Paulina Hong at firstname.lastname@example.org or (323) 293-6284.