March 2022

Hello Friends,

As many of you know, my approach in working with the Exceeding Expectation kids is to present them with tough challenges and let them know they're expected to work hard and excel. My objective in doing this is to give them a goal to strive for and, in accomplishing that goal, grow more confident that anything is possible – if they’re willing to put in the effort.

Last weekend was one of those tough challenges and every one of the kids and participating family members came through with a major personal accomplishment!

The Palm Springs Tram Road Challenge is an annual running event, but  has been canceled the last two years due to COVID. It’s a very steep road starting at the desert floor and ending 3.7 miles later and over 1,900 feet higher. It's the second toughest road climb in California, and the last half mile is a whopping 14% grade.

Exceeding Expectations has been taking kids to this run for many years and those who have done it in the past were disappointed with the cancellations. So, we decided to give them the opportunity to test themselves in 2022. We set up an EE event and invited our top runners to take the challenge. 14 kids, 6 parents and yours truly took it on.

In order to make this a safe and memorable event, we needed the help of volunteers, which we found largely through a local running group. Fifteen folks gave up their Sunday morning to help our kids. Each took their assigned duties very seriously and the day went more smoothly than I thought possible.

Our group of runners included 2 college graduates, 2 high school seniors headed to college, a 9-year-old who was doing his second Tram Run (his first, of course, was 2 years ago at 7 years of age) and 6 parents. Every one of our 21 runners came away feeling very good about themselves and a little more confident about their ability to take on big goals. Mission accomplished!

We’ll let the pictures tell the story. If you can't see the photos below on your device, click here to see them on our website.

I thank the volunteers and, as always, you faithful EE supporters who continue to provide the means for these kids to dream big.



A gorgeous morning and a tough road ahead


Some take a warm-up run. Literally, to keep warm.


Ready to roll


Coach Cherie's pre-race briefing


And they're off!




The littler ones had race angels. Here, Reese helping Aramis.
Or…is it the other way around?


1st place finisher Arian crosses the last bridge at the top.


Salvador, who came in fifth, backtracked to run his son José in.


Congratulation and awards time


But first, a huge thanks to our wonderful volunteers


Youngest finisher, Fernando Alvarez (nine years old)


The Top Ten


A splendid time was had by all!


Photos by Albert Angelo & Lee Gruenfeld