Ever since beginning my journey to become an ultrarunner, I have always wanted to raise awareness and support for a cause I passionately believed in. Running can be an extremely isolated sport, but when you focus beyond yourself to support a worthy cause, that accomplishment suddenly becomes greater than any one individual could have ever accomplished alone. There are a ton of great organizations out there to raise money for, but I've never come across anything that I care deeply about in order to rally behind with all of my heart, soul and mind. That is, until now...
Today, I'm extremely excited to announce a venture we're calling "Race The Trace", an attempt to be the first person(s) in recorded history to run the entire 444 miles of the Natchez Trace Parkway to raise support and awareness of an amazing organization called the Affero Project.
Affero is a grassroots online community of global justice advocates which exists to educate, inspire and equip people to help end global poverty and injustice worldwide. It was created to help educate and engage the millions of Americans who want to do something to help their global neighbors in need, but either don't know much about global justice issues, can't find charities they trust, or feel like they don't have enough money to really make a difference. Their revolutionary online giving community is centered on the belief that ordinary people can come together to do extraordinary things. Here's how it works:
People join The Affero Project with monthly donations (as little as $1 a month) and their gift is combined with thousands of others, creating a very large pool of funds. Each year we have 12 categories of funding representing a non-profit organization or NGO with project(s) around the world in each category (Aids & Disease, Child Soldiers, Clean Water, Education, Food & Agriculture, Gender Equality, Homelessness, Human Trafficking, Medical Relief, Orphan Care, Poverty & Hunger, and Refugees). Every month community members join online to cast their vote on which category is to receive funding that month. Once a category wins, funds are released to the project(s).
I'm extremely excited to be running for such an amazing cause and organization and I sincerely hope you will take the time to find out more about them and their cause by becoming a member.
About The Natchez Trace Parkway
Stretching from the Mississippi River in Natchez through the Shoals area in Alabama and across the Tennessee Valley to Nashville, this timeworn path has felt the tread of travelers for over 8,000 years. Buffalo and other wildlife were first to wind their way through the wilderness. Later, American Indians, traders, trappers and missionaries joined their fellow creatures on the rough track. In the late 1700s and early 1800s, boatmen floated merchandise downriver to New Orleans where they sold their flatboats and their goods and returned home on foot or horseback, using the well-worn Natchez Trace. Back then the Old Trace went through rough territory dominated by many hazards, such as bandits, American Indians and wild animals. All these hazards earned the route the ominous nickname, "Devil's Backbone."
As I mentioned in the video, one of the reasons we're announcing this venture long before the event is that we hope to include you, the community, in the process along the way. Everything is still in the works... the website, our planning, sponsors, my training (both understanding and execution), the equipment/tools we'll use, the crew, etc. We think this is going to be a fun ride in putting it all together and we hope you enjoy watching and participating in the process!