Eight days to Running a Half-marathon and Raising a $1000 for our Sisters in Gulu.

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Next Sunday, Sept. 25 I will be lacing up my gray running shoes, put on my favorite Lululemons (the lone outfit I’ve been training in for the past three months) and drive to the South Surrey Athletic Park for my first ever half-marathon.

Gulp.

Half-marathon. Running twenty-one kilometers. Not words I ever thought I would say in a sentence associated with my activity level.

Backstory

About three months ago, my gf (and a partner-in-#Roar) Tina Francis and I took a roadtrip to attend Donald Miller’s Storyline Conference in Portland. We were inspired to live a better story. But there was something burning very deep inside of Tina. I watched her wrestle … There was something big she needed to do. Then one Tuesday, not long after, she emailed and said she’d signed up for a half-marathon and wanted to raise enough money to sponsor the reconstructive surgery for one woman in Northern Uganda.

Boom.

Why Northern Uganda?

Gulu is a place where woman’s bodies are weapons of war. While many get raped, some women get their faces, ears and noses chopped off. It’s a gruesome reality and the kind of thing we’d rather keep out of polite dinner or Skype conversations. But it’s happening and Watoto’s Living Hope Project has brought rescue, restoration and dignity to these women.

Fakeleft for Watoto

We’d heard about Watoto’s Living Hope project at LifeWomen conference in 2010. Marilyn Skinner spoke passionately and beautifully as she shared the story of these women … our sisters. I remember Tina having a very profound experience even then. She knew she had to do something, but a year later—as we heard how women had taken action to raise money for this cause—we hadn’t done anything.

So, Tina signed up for her run and emailed me. I called her right back and said, I’ll do it with you. BUT: let’s not just us do it. Let’s see if any of the SheLoves readers want to do it with us. Let’s see if ten women want to do it and let’s raise $10,000! Let’s make this bigger than ourselves. We set up an ice cream date with Pastor Helen and asked if she thought it would be a good idea. She cheered us on and thought we could have at least 20 women or more sign up.

That Friday Tina wrote a historic TGIF column. (If you haven’t yet read it, do yourself a favor and click on the link.)

Over 50 women signed up to run! Tina’s courage and action inspired so many of us to jump in with her and run. Very few of us are runners. Heck, I didn’t even run in high school. The one time I did a bi-athlon, I threw up afterwards.

$50,000?

But with 50 women signed up, we thought maybe we could raise $50,000. (I might throw up again.)

Meanwhile I already had a fundraising project on the go, plus I was on my way to Europe on a Sisterhood trip to learn more about human trafficking.

But I started training faithfully. Week after week, three to four times a week. One minute after another of putting one foot in front of another. This past summer I’ve run in Berlin, Jasper, Victoria, Summerland, Banff, Surrey and Point Roberts. (O, and there was one epic night I ran with my amazing gf Jodi through much of North Delta, including that humongous hill up Nordel Way.)

Now it’s crunch time and our goal is to raise $1,000 per person.

Just like every kilometer is step by step by step, every dollar counts.

Would you consider giving something? $10, $25, $50, $75, $100, $200, $500 … Whatever is in your heart to give.

To those of you who have already donated—thank you so much!

I am nervous, but also kind of excited. It’s been a big learning curve for me—physically, emotionally and socially. (Mostly: I am learning to step out of my shell and run with others.)

But I’ll unpack more in this week—hoping to write through my pre-race jitters and do my bit to reach our fundraising goal.

So, I’m asking: Would you please sponsor me and my SheLoves sisters who are running for our Living Hope sisters in Northern Uganda?

(Writing that actually brings tears to my eyes. I know. So girl-y.)

Three months ago I wouldn’t have dreamed of becoming a woman who runs (albeit slooooowly). But I now have a “Running” folder on my iPhone, “powersongs” on my playlist and a Nike+ chip in my shoe. Who knew all this would happen when I dared to step out.

Would you please consider sponsoring our race? This is so much bigger than any one of us and we couldn’t do it without you.

Here’s how to donate:

  • You can send a check or a cheque. I’m not fussy about the language it arrives in. (Email me at idelette (@) shaw.ca or leave a comment and I’ll send you my address.)
  • Flag me down and hand over cash. It’s not for me, so I’m happy to ask.

This is a big deal for me and the girls I am running this with. Your support would mean so much—even more than a shot of Gatorade at the 18km mark or the loud cheers I’m imagining for the victory lap.

With Love and gratitude,

Idelette

xoxo

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