As if running things at city hall doesn’t keep them busy enough, a contingent of West Hollywood City Hall staffers will be running in the Honolulu Marathon on Sunday.
Five city hall employees, including three top-level managers, will fly to Hawaii on Friday to run in the marathon, which typically attracts 25,000 runners. They’ll run as part of the approximately 200-person strong AIDS Project Los Angeles Team to End AIDS.
Having a “Team Weho” contingent on the APLA team running in Honolulu is an annual tradition dating back to 2001.
“We have had numerous participants over the years including Councilmember John Heilman and former Councilmember Steve Martin,” said City Manager Paul Arevalo, an avid runner who has done the Honolulu Marathon every year since Team Weho started. “This is coordinated by the employees. Participation is based on interest. This year Janet Jimenez [of the public works department] took the lead on coordinating the team. Runners are recruited through peer encouragement.”
Public Works Director Oscar Delgado, who will be running in the marathon for the fifth time since 2005, first got involved on a dare.
“Someone said ‘I’ll do it if Oscar does it,’ and so I did it,” reported Delgado, who was not a runner prior to that 2005 dare. “The training is brutal, but fun. There’s a lot of camaraderie. APLA has a great group of runners. I’m not a long-distance runner, but what keeps me motivated is the cause we’re running for.”
Interim Director of Finance and Information Technology David Wilson, another avid runner, has done eight of the past 11 Honolulu marathons.
“It provides an opportunity to do something I enjoy while helping people living with HIV and AIDS,” Wilson said. “I enjoy running because it provides quiet time to reflect on things in the past and plan for things in the future.”
This year’s Team Weho members have been training since June, practicing twice weekly on their own, then going to Burbank on Saturday mornings to run with the entire APLA team.
Team Weho has raised $20,000 from friends, family and colleagues this year, Arevalo reported; more than $250,000 during the past 11 years. People wishing to donate to Team Weho can click here for a donation page.