From here to Africa, in 26.2 miles

When I need a drink of water, there are four faucets in my house I can turn on, or a Brita pitcher in my fridge, or even a bottle of water in the pantry. If I need to water my flowers, there are two hoses outside to choose from. When I need a shower, there are two showers, and one tub for a bath. If I need to cook, there is plenty of clean water for which to boil noodles or steam vegetables or make iced tea. Even if I needed to slick down my hair (which I don’t do, for the record), I can do so without worrying of waste. I never run out. I can make the water hot if I want to. I can save it. I can freeze it, boil it, spill it. And not once have I ever thought it would run out or be unhealthy.

This is not the case in Zambia, Africa, where water is so scarce that Africans (often children) must walk 4-6 miles per day to lug 30-40 lbs. of water back to their families for one day. Just for perspective, Americans use around 170 gallons of water per day per individual.

To raise awareness about this issue, and to make an impact, I’ve decided to train for the Indianapolis Marathon on October 15th. I am asking friends, family, and colleagues to meet me in this challenge by committing a lump sum or a pledge per mile that I run. For  more details, read this letter:

Active Water Letter

It took me awhile to muster up the courage to make this public. I was nervous I would not be able to complete my training, let alone run the race. But my husband reminded me it’s not “failing” if I need to take a break and walk, either during my training or during the race. Just completing the marathon is a huge undertaking and accomplishment. So I’m putting myself out there and asking for your help.

I’ve put my own money up front, both by donating $25 and race registration fees, and I am also putting the future of both my knees on the line. 😉 Will you please join me in using our abundance of blessings to bless those in Africa? I don’t know about you, but if I had as little as they did, and I knew there were others who have significantly more than me…I would always wonder, why won’t they share? My family and my babies are dying. There’s no reason for us not to. And this is the perfect opportunity.

I am also going to do my best to keep my blog updated with how my training is progressing. In light of that, I’d like to give you the play-by-play of my first long, brutal run this past weekend. I am training for this race with my good friend Mindy, who ran with me in high school on the track and cross-country teams. We both have one year old babies, so it’s been a bit of a challenge to get our training in. But we have committed to do our weekend runs together. This past Saturday we did twelve miles. Here’s what went through my head during those two hours:

Mile 1: It’s nice and fresh out this early. Glad we’re going at 6:30am. I didn’t get much sleep but I feel pretty good. This Gatorade is really helping.

Mile 2: Wow. It’s only been two miles? Man, I thought it was like four. Oh well, I’ll hit my stride here in a bit.

Mile 4: Ugh, I feel sick. I think it’s the Gatorade. Too sweet. I need to borrow Mindy’s water.

Mile 5: Ok, if I stop halfway, at like mile six, that’s still good, right? Ddddyyyyiiiiinnnngggg……

Mile 6: Ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh, if that pit bull charging me right now is going to rip me apart, I hope I go fast and don’t feel any pain. I cannot believe that guy let him off the leash, even though he saw us running. Good-bye, cruel world.

Mile 7: I am still so mad that guy at the park didn’t have his dog on a leash. (Mindy agreed with me). But hey, we survived and now we feel pretty good. Guess we just needed a little shot of adrenaline.

Mile 8: DYING. We don’t want to stop, but we really need a break, some water, and maybe a small snack. And to use the potty. 

Mile 9: That break was just what we needed, we feel so much better! And now we only have four more miles to go! That’s EASY. And the neighbor has his sprinklers on!!! I hope he doesn’t look out here and wonder why two girls are running around in his front yard through the sprinklers and laughing hysterically. 

Mile 10: Runner’s high has set in. We are unintelligible at this point.

Mile 11: Pain. Legs. Numb. ACK.

Mile 12: Scuffling counts as running, yes? It better because that’s how we finished our run.

Tune in next week for an update on our Sunday mileage….13!

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression, 
   with the pointing finger and malicious talk, 
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry 
   and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, 
then your light will rise in the darkness, 
   and your night will become like the noonday. 
11 The LORD will guide you always; 
   he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land 
   and will strengthen your frame. 
You will be like a well-watered garden, 
   like a spring whose waters never fail.”
Isaiah 58

**Please participate by donating at my page!  http://www.active.com/donate/activewaterupick/jamierunsforwater

9 thoughts on “From here to Africa, in 26.2 miles

  1. This is awesome! I love the mile play-by-play! (Pit Bulls belong to the devil! I’m sure of it!) I think you are amazing for what you are doing and why (and the fact that your legs are capable of doing that is seriously admirable!)


  2. Thanks, Jamie, for sharing this opportunity with family and friends! I am so proud of your courage and determination to leave a good mark on this not so good world!!! I love you!

  3. hey, we just donated 🙂 but i wanted to post a link to this on fb so my friends can read about it too 🙂 is there a way you could include a link in the blog post to your donation page?

    1. FANTASTIC!!! Thank you, Andrea!! 🙂 Actually I think I posted the link at the bottom of my most recent post. But I can add it to this post real quick too, in case you’d rather share this particular one. 🙂 Adding it now!

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