When I first started running 8 years ago, it was mostly for me. After losing so much to my injuries from our car accident, I needed to find something I could do, that I wanted to do and that I loved to do. Something that would help me find my confidence again and rediscover who I was post-accident. Going through something like that changes you and learning to run gave me some focus and helped me figure out who I had become.
Running changed my life in so may ways. It’s funny though, how something that began with such personal reasons has become such a meaningful way to help change the lives of others.
In 2013 I ran the Run for Water Ultra Marathon and was blown away by the impact of this one event. By committing to training for a 55km run and to fundraising for clean water projects at the same time, I learned so much about myself. I knew the physical commitment would be significant but I had no idea how much the purpose would affect me as well.
Just like learning to run 8 years ago, I crossed the Run for Water finish line feeling like a totally different person.
The amazing people who organize and put on the Run for Water events and work tirelessly throughout the year to deliver educational programs, fundraise, organize the runs, participate in school programs and even travel to Africa to be part of the projects themselves, welcomed me to their family with open arms. I ran the ultra again in 2014 and I am so proud to say I will be running again in 2015.
With all of the random injuries and setbacks I’ve dealt with in the past couple months I was hesitant to make any kind of announcement because it would be heartbreaking to have to back out if I couldn’t run. Now that I think I can safely say that “I’m back!” I’m excited to get started on all things Run for Water.
The Run for Water ultra team for 2015 is made up of some amazing athletes, returning runners and a few new ultra runners too and I am so excited to be among their ranks. The organizing committee for this year’s ultra have been hard at work and it sounds like this year’s event is going to be amazing.
Just as I am pretty much at the beginning of my training for this event on the running side of things, I am also pretty much at square zero on the fundraising side too. I have some fun things in mind to help raise the minimum $1500 I’ve committed to so stay tuned as those things get off the ground.
In the meantime, I want to send out a heart felt thank to all of those who have supported me on this ultra running journey over the past two years, whether it has been with your encouragement, your time, your donations, or your dressing up in costumes and cheering (!), I am so grateful for your help and love at every step along the way.
It is always difficult to ask those you love to donate their money and time but I have been so touched by how every one of you have taken something that means so much to me and made it something important to you as well. Even the smallest of donations add up to do some pretty huge things so if you feel inspired to do so, you can visit my personal fundraising page here.
And if you’d like to learn more about Run for Water and the village of Yella, Ethiopia where our efforts will be directed again this year, you can visit their website and explore all the amazing things the society is working on.
And if you’d like to get involved in Run for Water as a runner in either the 5km, 10km or half marathon events or better yet, not just race but raise this year, visit the RFW website to register or set up a fundraising page here.