Justin Andrade, an Arvada West High School and Adams State graduate, ran from Alamosa to Arvada over the course of seven days to raise funds for the Cameron Holland Scholarship. The scholarship, …
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Justin Andrade, an Arvada West High School and Adams State graduate, ran from Alamosa to Arvada over the course of seven days to raise funds for the Cameron Holland Scholarship. The scholarship, which is given annually to one student at Ralston Valley High School, honors the memory of Cameron Holland, a RVHS student who died in a car accident in 2019.
Andrade ran a total of 280.1 miles — an average of 40 miles per day — from May 31 to June 6, concluding his journey at the Cameron Holland street sign near 72nd Avenue and Indiana Street.
Andrade’s run raised $4,000 on nearly 80 contributions as of June 7, according to Kristen Adame, Cameron Holland’s mom. Adame said she expected more contributions to come in throughout the month of June, as some donations were pledged per mile Andrade ran.
Andrade is a childhood friend of Holland’s sister, Delaney Holland, and grew up running with Delaney at Campbell Elementary School. Justin was a four-year varsity cross country runner at Adams State and graduated in May.
Justin’s mom, Melissa Andrade, said the extraordinary feat was in line with her son’s character.
“It’s not terribly out of left field,” said Melissa. “He’s a really sort of driven person, and he likes pushing himself and always seeing what he can do to be better. I do recall a time when we did drop him off at college freshman year that he said he was going to run home and at that point in time, it was more of a `yeah, OK.’ But then this year rolled around and he’s like, `yeah, I’m doing it.’
“That’s just the sort of person Justin is,” Melissa continued.
Adame said that with the money Justin’s run raised, she hoped to give out more scholarships in the future.
“Our next goal would be to be able to give two scholarships a year at Ralston Valley,” said Adame. “There’s a GPA requirement, the sanctioned CHSAA portion, and then two letters of recommendation — and they kind of have to fill out an application with some questions … a lot of it comes down to trying to find someone who has the same character traits as Cameron.”
Adame continued to say that the main character traits listed as criteria for the scholarship are kindness, generosity and honor. Applicants for the Cameron Holland Scholarship must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and participate in at least two CHSAA-sanctioned sports.
“I was devastated to hear that Cameron passed,” said Justin. “He was a great guy, an amazing athlete, a very good human. I can’t really imagine how difficult that would be for his family, so I’ve always wanted to do something for Cameron, and I’m fortunate enough to be able to be doing this.”
Justin said the motivation of running for Cameron helped fuel him and put him in the mindset of taking the trek in stride.
“Each day I got closer,” said Justin,”confidence began to build. I think that’s the important thing when trying to overcome a distance that far. They say you eat an elephant one bite at a time. So how do you run 280 miles? One step at a time.”
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