About 10 of us met at the Linden Hills Sebastian Joe’s Ice Cream shop to start a 6k around Lake Harriet. The 35 degree weather and impending snow storm wouldn’t usually seem to abnormal but having had near 70’s weather made it a little harder to get prepared for a cold race/run. Gathered among us were 3 strollers! This could have been the 6k stroller dash for clean water!
Why a 6k? The average distance people travel for water in parts of Africa is about 6 kilometers one way. It took us about 40 minutes to run 3.72 miles, can you imagine walking that carrying a 5 gallon container of water? I can’t. But that is the daily task for many women and children across the developing world. My “registration fee” of $50 helped to provide Edwin from Kenya with clean water for the rest of his life.
Like training for a race, there is a long process for him to get clean water, but the finish line is now in sight. Soon he will be able to walk a short distance and get clean, healthy water. This will improve his overall quality of life by allowing him more time for school, he’ll be sick less often due to dirty water, and he’ll be safer by not requiring long walks to get the water.
For our part in the virtual event we met at Sebastian Joe’s which happens to be below the local World Vision office. From there our group headed to Lake Harriet and we chatted and had a grand time for the first mile or so. Then like many runs (at least with me) someone pushes the pace, I think this time it was a cute kid and her dad who would run ahead and then she’d hop in the stroller for a bit. And suddenly the group starts getting split up as the pace increases. We were at sub-9 for the middle mile. Around Lake Harriet the running path is pretty flat so we were able to keep the strollers rolling pretty well.
At the Lake Harriet Band Shell we turned right and headed towards Lake Calhoun. From here until the finish we hit some “rollers”. The hills really aren’t that bad, but those of us pushing double strollers felt them a lot more than normal! I had only glanced at the course map briefly and Anne wasn’t 100% sure so we had to make sure we didn’t veer of course as we turned at the light and then the next light and ended the run on the sidewalk running down Sheridan. At some point around the Band Shell Nadia started singing in the trailer, loudly! We rolled into the finish line and celebrated our success! Our little team had raised almost $2,500 for clean water projects (we were the 5th ranked team as of this writing). We joined 1,400 people in all 50 states for this first time virtual event!!
You can’t be that close to Sebastian Joe’s and not get some ice cream. Even if it is snowing outside! This little guy will probably never know what it is like to carry 5 gallons of water for 6k. And hopefully together we can provide easy access to clean water to for everyone before he starts running competitively. Will you help make that a reality? Please donate to my fundraising mission this year!