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Hermosa Beach dad's marathon to raise funds for school district

June 14, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Christian Burke is a coach for the 100 Mile Club, a nationwide nonprofit program that encourages kids to run 100 miles during the school year.

But Burke himself runs for another reason. He does it to raise money for his daughter's school.

"Reading, writing, arithmetic are the things that stay, right? But all the others are the things that go the arts, the languages, physical education, all seem to get minimalized and in many cases removed all together," Burke said. "I don't know how I could have made it through school without those things."

With more than $1 million in school budget cuts, Burke wanted to help Hermosa Beach City School District raise money last October by running. And it wasn't just a 10K. He set a Guinness world record for a 24-hour sand run and raised $20,000 along the way.

"I can't donate a half a million dollars but I can do this, and so and I felt like I could donate some awareness," he said.

This year, he's raising money with a fundraiser called the Hermosa 24 Ultramarathon. Burke's fundraiser is open to students, elite runners and anyone else who feels they can complete the 3.4-mile beach course.

The event starts at noon Saturday at the Hermosa Beach pier. They'll be running back and forth in the soft sand to the Manhattan Beach pier for 24 hours.

Burke encourages runners to go solo, grab a buddy and even gather a relay team.

Halle Burke, 11, is following in her father's footsteps.

"They don't judge you about how you run," the sixth grader said. "It's just about trying to be healthy and just running the best you can."

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