Category Archives: World Vision

Race Review: 6k for Water

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!


The World Vision Virtual 6K For Water March 22

Join me in running a 6k on March 22 and provide clean water for life for a kid in Africa. Simple, easy peasy. Click here to do it!


Thanks for joining World Vision’s first Virtual 6K For Water!

Your registration fee of $50 will provide clean water for one child. The cool part? On March 22, you’ll walk or run with a picture (on your race bib) of the child you’re providing water for.

Next steps?

1. Watch your mailbox! In the next 7-10 business days you’ll be receiving your Virtual 6K Race Kit containing your race shirt, your individualized race bib, and a how-to guide.
2. Log In to your dashboard for access to a Couch-to-6k training plan, announcements, and other resources.
3. Download the the GPS Smartphone app, MAP MY RUN (or visit and choose a start/finish line for your 6K.
4. Invite 5 Friends to run with you. The more friends you invite, the more people in Kenya we can provide with clean water. Share this photo on social media with the message below:
“6K is the avg. distance that kids have to walk for water in Africa. Walk/Run 6K with me on World Water Day to bring water and hope. “

We’ll be in touch with more tips and inspiration as March 22nd gets closer.

Thank you!

Photos From Twin Cities Marathon Weekend

The kids participated in the annual Toddler Trot!

Caleb attempted his first race and made it maybe 10 feet on his own.  He was a little tired and tried to curl up for a nap when he fell down! So I carried him across the line!

Nadia on the other hand, was a professional and did a superb job.  I lined up with her and when they said “Go” she was off on her own.  I quickly walked around the outside to get her at the finish line. She was standing around in the middle of the sea of people contently waiting and looking for me!  We then picked up her hardware and found Felix and celebrated 3 athletes bringing home the medals!!


Before and after! Nadia ran the race by herself like a big kid! Caleb didn’t really run very far! @twincitiesinmotion

View on Instagram

On Marathon morning, I definitely felt a little weird not running, but loaded the kids up and headed to Mile 16 to cheer on the runners! I saw everyone I was hoping to see except for one friend, but if you turn around for a second you can easily miss someone!


Ready to cheer! #tcmarathon

View on Instagram

We arrived a little early and saw some of the wheelers and the elite crews. Lead men:


Lead pack through 16 #tcmarathon

View on Instagram

The winning man is wearing the Orange jersey.  Tyler Pennel won in his marathon debut with  a time of 2:13:32. Lead women:


Women’s leaders through 16 #tcmarathon

View on Instagram


These two women took 2nd (on right Heather Lieberg 2:34:08) and 3rd  (on the left Brianne Nelson 2:34:22) place overall. The eventual winner Esther Erb (2:34:00) was about 50 seconds behind them at the half way mark and about 30 seconds behind them at them at the 30k mark (18.6 miles). Lieberg and Nelson ran almost identical splits until the 24 mile mark (last split taken) and Erb was still 10 seconds behind them at the 24 mile mark.  That would have been a great finish to watch!

Stephen was competing in the inagural TC Ultra Looney Challenge (10k & 5k Saturday and Marathon on Sunday). He got 3rd overall for the Looney and was the 2nd Team World Vision runner that went by us.


Nice job on the ultra looney! #tclooney #teamworldvision #tcmarathon

View on Instagram

I didn’t take a lot of pictures, but here is a good mid-pack shot of some Team World Vision runners:


Go #teamworldvision runners rockin the day for clean water! #tcmarathon

View on Instagram

And the kids got a little tired with all the spectating! Thank Emily for helping entertain Nadia!


Spectating is hard work! #tcmarathon

View on Instagram

Last year I took the time to list a bunch of pictures I liked on Instagram. That took a lot of work. Check out the #tcmarathon tag to see some cool shots! It was another perfect day for a marathon!

Race Review: MN Half Marathon

9330_1406813551 This was probably one of my best executed races that I’ve ever run.  Probably in large part because I wasn’t concerned about my time.  My training wasn’t consistent or really at any level where I could set expectations.  I decided I wanted to finish under 2 hours and run a negative split.

The MN Half Marathon was the official race for Team World Vision this year.  I wasn’t 100% sure if I was going to race it, even though I’m our team captain,  as the date fell during the few weeks my wife had scheduled vacation.  We decided on a staycation and I signed up a few weeks before.  I had been training as if I was racing it so that wasn’t a big deal.  There were over 200 Team World Vision runners participating raising money for clean water in Africa.  The final stats have been released, but you can bet that a lot of people got will receive access to clean water thanks to the fundraising efforts.  You can donate to me here.

The event was a good size, not huge but not super tiny.  Packet pickup went smoothly at Union Depot the night before.  I arrived in plenty of time to park, relax, get our team picture, take a dump and race!  This event had a roller blade race, duathlon (roller blade and running), and several running distances.  I’ve never participated in an event with roller bladers before and I’m pleased to say that I beat some!!

The start was along Shepherd Road in St. Paul.  After taking my dump, I walked up and was at the very back of the pack.  I wanted to start out slow, but I didn’t want 11:30 pace slow and knew that it would be a lot of work to run through the crowd from the back. As I was walking, I saw one of my teammates and told him he needed to move up with me.  I wasn’t sure what he could for the half, but knew from the times we had trained together that he needed to start further up.  I did worry later that I might have ruined his race, but even at the end he was happy that I did that!!
I started with the 9:30 pace group and we took off heading East.  It was flat for most of this 3 mile leg, with one decent hill that you climbed two times maybe a mile or so apart.  As long as you didn’t blaze up it, there shouldn’t have been a problem.  This stretch was super sunny as there was not a single tree.  Running along the more “industrial” part of the river was interesting.

By the time we passed the starting area I was already between the 9:15-9:00 pace groups.  I was feeling pretty good and happy with my race so far!  The second out and back portion of the race was a little more scenic and had 2 hills that we ran up on the way out and of course on the way back!  I passed the half way mark right around an hour and knew that I was either going to hit both goals or neither goal!

By mile 8 I was starting to see Team World Vision runners that I knew from training and would wish them well as I passed.  Oh, I haven’t mentioned that the temp for the race start was in the 60’s but the humidity was pretty high and by the end of the race it was almost 80.  So it wasn’t a stellar day and many people were suffering from the heat.  There weren’t a ton of aid stations, but I think there was a good amount.  They had trouble keeping the supply of cups ready, but I was able to get water and Gatorade as I needed it.  I was also taking a shot blok every 3 miles.  We passed a runner down as we slipped under 35E and that’s where I ran into Scott and Erin.

We exchanged pleasantries and luck and I continued on my way.  A few minutes later Erin caught up with me.  We ran together chit-chatting for the next few miles.   I think having someone to chat with helped distract through some of the middle miles.  We were both trying to stay in the shade (what little was available) and finish strong.  I would say that we separated around mile 10, she really needed salt, but the aid stations nor medical stops had any salt.  Medical stops also didn’t have vaseline (I didn’t need it but a guy near me kept asking them for it).

At one point in mile 11 as we were coming upon the hill, I realized that everyone was following the curve of the road to stay in the shade, but that created a much longer way to travel.  I knew it was a little bit of a gamble to choose the shorter course over the shade, but I took the chance.  I think I ended up doing that twice.   I was still feeling pretty good and knew that if I kept pushing myself I’d finish well.  At a couple points I mentally checked myself so that I wouldn’t get over excited or ahead of myself before I actually finished.  In the last set of hills my glute and foot started hurting, but not in a way that impacted me too much.

CAM05278Most World Vision runners wore the bright orange jersey (t-shirt, a few of us wear the singlet).  During the picture time I had seen a guy wearing a t-shirt with the World Vision logo and pictures of kids on the back of his shirt.  I assumed the kids were kids he sponsored and thought it was great that he improvised a way to honor them in the race. At some point in these later miles I saw the pictures of the kids laying on the ground and scooped them up and handed them back to him as I ran past.  He was super amazed and appreciative.  I didn’t realize it but he was really struggling to finish and that really motivated him and helped him remember his purpose in running.  After the race this random guy comes up to me in the World Vision tent and said I want to give you a sweaty man hug.  Awkward!  Then I saw the pictures in his hand and realized who he was.  We talked a bit about the race, etc.  And he was wearing a crossfit shirt so we of course talked about that! We exchanged info and he e-mailed me a story that he hope his box will publish.  I couldn’t find it posted yet.  It is a powerful story of an ex-runner, but someone engaged in fitness who felt compelled by the need for clean water to run again!

In the last mile I knew that if nothing major happened I would be successful in my goals and kept pushing myself to finish strong. There was an ambulance near the finish line picking up a runner which was a little freaky and not something you want to see.  As I crossed the finish line I was relieved to see that the clock and my watch both read 1:5x:xx YES!!  I had done it.  I had executed the perfect race!   My tweet post race summed up my feelings:

Here is the data from Strava:

Final Official Results:


Starfish, Drinking Water, & You!

We are often confronted with overwhelming circumstances.  We got lost in the facts or data points about a story.  We struggle to not only feel connected to the problem but have no idea how to help.  Or maybe we do know how to help, but think our little bit of help won’t have an impact. Have you ever heard the story about the young man throwing starfish back into the water?

Trust me it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the billions of people who are suffering around the world. What can I sitting in Minneapolis, Frankfort, etc do about a problem in Congo, Somalia, Iraq?  Let me make it a little easier for you.  You can support me and my endurance efforts and change someone’s life.  Every dollar raised through my efforts for Team World Vision will directly impact a person in Congo.

Did you know that people are dying from waterborne diseases? Illnesses that might not you and me off our feet for 24-48 hours are literally killing people.  A person dehydrated from diarrhea – drink water that only makes them  sicker.  That’s shameful.  $50 can provide that person access to clean water for life.  See it is simple.  You give any amount and someone’s life gets better.  $50 is a nice round number – but any amount, $5, $10, $100, $1,000 they all change people’s lives.  Even a dollar would have an impact.

Today you can be the man in the Starfish story, ” it made a difference for that one.”  Click here to donate, then come back and read the story.


While walking along a beach, an elderly gentleman saw someone in the distance leaning down, picking something up and throwing it into the ocean.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, picking up starfish one by one and tossing each one gently back into the water.

He came closer still and called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The young man paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”

The old man smiled, and said, “I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?”

To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”

Upon hearing this, the elderly observer commented, “But, young man, do you not realise that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”

The young man listened politely. Then he bent down, picked up another starfish, threw it into the back into the ocean past the breaking waves and said, “It made a difference for that one.

If you donate today and write Starfish in the message box I’ll send you a special starfish story card and pin! Please take 5 minutes to provide clean water and make a difference for “that one”.