July 16, 2012
By Bob Fernandez
In 2007, daily jogger Anne Mahlum noticed homeless guys outside the Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission near 13th and Vine Streets during early-morning six- and seven-mile runs.
Mahlum, a 26-year-old transplant from North Dakota, believed the repetition and discipline of running helped her through personal crises. She thought: Why not them? She called the shelter to organize jogs for those willing to pound the pavement three mornings a week at 6 a.m. All they had to do was one mile.
From those humble beginnings Mahlum launched a non-profit, Back on My Feet, now with branches in seven other U.S. cities, and the annual fund-raiser, Lone Ranger Ultra Marathon, in which participants test their endurance – and the durability of their knees and ankles – to see how many miles they can run in a 24-hour period on an 8.4-mile loop along the Schuylkill River.