By EMMA K CARTER
Everything is on schedule. Two and a half weeks ago our twelve core-team runners, accompanied by five state-runners and six four-day Urban Challenger participants, set off for their 140-day, 3,080 mile race from Huntington Beach, California to Washington D.C. After running 266 miles of rolling hills in ten days, they completed the Race Across California and began the Race Across Arizona.
“No doubt, my favorite part, also the most challenging part for me, was being out in the Southern Mojave desert,” says state-runner Ryan Young. “Turns out while I loved the solitude, the beauty, it was also the solitude, the miles and miles of desert with no turns, no services, no signs of civilization that proved be to a mental challenge. In allowing myself to just be present in the moment, understanding this is where I was and would be for sometime, I fell further into enjoying the journey.”
“I feel so blessed and so amazed at what I just accomplished,” state-runner Alfa Severino says, as she re-calls the up-hill struggles and the rush of a downhill “pick-me-up.”
“The first couple of days were the hardest…once I saw a big monster hill and I thought, ‘My gosh, am I going to go through that?’ but days five, six, and seven were a lot easier…every day was a new start…In my mind, every time a car drove by I thought to myself, ‘I hope they see us and wonder why we’re doing this. I hope they Google us and learn what we’re running for.’”
All Race Across the USA team members are running to raise money and bring awareness to the 100 Mile Club, an organization committed to combating childhood obesity by inspiring a passion for physical activity and health in children today. Alfa’s own children clocked their one hundred miles with the 100 Mile Club just last year.
“The fundraising was a big motivation for me because I’m a doctor and a mother of three,” state-runner and Canadian doctor Emmanuelle Dudon told us. “The problem of obesity among children—the future unhealthy adults—is a real concern for me. I came to running in my thirties after my first daughter was born. It became a way to balance my life, stay healthy, stay happy and also find real challenge. Since then it has been part of my life.”
When they’re not on the run, our core-team members visit schools along the way to speak to students directly, sharing their stories and passions, in the hopes that their stories will inspire passion in another.
“Sometimes it only takes one example to deliver a message,” says Alfa. “I know that in these past ten days we’ve made a difference.”
Check out Sandy Van Soye video in Yucca Valley and 29 Palms for a peek at our core runners visiting local schools to share their passion for fitness.