Updated: 04/17/2014 4:20 PM
Created: 04/17/2014 4:15 PM WDIO.com
By: Bob Gustafson
Duluth, Minn. – Olympian and Grandma’s Marathon Hall of Famer Saul Mendoza will be the featured speaker at the April 22 and 23 Essentia Health Fit-n-Fun Middle School Assemblies.
A seven-time Grandma’s Marathon men’s wheelchair division champion, Mendoza will give presentations to students on:
April 22: 10 a.m, Lincoln Park Middle School, Duluth/2 p.m, Superior (Wis.) Middle School
April 23: 10 a.m, Ordean East Middle School, Duluth
Mendoza, 47, grew up in Mexico City where he was diagnosed with polio at six months old. He became involved in sports from an early age both on crutches and from a wheelchair, and eventually grew to excel at wheelchair racing.
While representing Mexico at the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, he won a gold medal in the 1500 meters with an Olympic record time of three minutes and six seconds.
In addition to his seven Grandma’s Marathon titles, Mendoza has also won numerous other prestigious marathons, including Chicago, New York City, London, Los Angeles and Twin Cities.
In 2000, he was named Mexico’s Athlete of the Century and last year was inducted into the Grandma’s Marathon Hall of Fame.
In addition to his worldwide racing success, Mendoza devotes time to assisting his wheelchair sponsor of the last 17 years, called Eagle, in the design and research process for better products for others with disabilities. Residing in Wimberley, Texas, he travels the U.S. and Mexico as a motivational speaker.
About the Essentia Health Fit-n-Fun Series
In 2008, Grandma’s Marathon and the Young Athletes Foundation partnered with Duluth Public School Systems and Essentia Health to create the Fit-n-Fun Middle School Assemblies and Fit-n-Fun Run. These two initiatives are aimed toward motivating children to lead healthier lifestyles.
The 2014 Fit-n-Fun Run will be held on Wednesday, May 14 at Duluth’s Public Schools Stadium track.
Fitger’s 5K Set for Saturday
The Fitger’s 5K Run & Walk is scheduled for Saturday at 9 a.m. A record field of 2,032 has registered for the 25th running of the event, the largest annual fundraiser for the Young Athletes Foundation. Race packet pick-up is Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and race day from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. An award ceremony concludes the event at 10:30 a.m. in The Rex, on the bottom level of Fitger’s.
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