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Run4Kenya raises more than $5,600 in 2008 Philadelphia marathon

If you have seen a friend walking around campus with a long-sleeve black t-shirt that says “Kick Asphalt” on it, give them a hug – or at least a high five. They deserve it.

“Kick Asphalt,” this year’s theme at the 15th running of the annual Philadelphia Marathon, drew in more than 18,000 runners and countless supporters from all around the world, including students involved in Eastern’s R4Kenya club.

At 5 a.m. on a Sunday in late November, 24 students packed into school vans and headed to downtown Philadelphia for the 7 a.m. race. In the two to four hours that followed, 20 R4Kenya members successfully completed the 13.1-mile half-marathon course through Center City Philadelphia, while four others doubled the distance and took on the second half of the full 26.2-mile marathon down Kelly Drive. The total distance ran by R4Kenya members was 366.8 miles, which, when put together, could stretch across the state of Pennsylvania.

The question going through your mind right now might be why would someone choose to wake up that early to run? As many who ran will attest, you need to try it to understand. While many simply run for the love of the sport or to accomplish something, R4Kenya members run for an even greater cause. R4Kenya wants to do more than just run – they want their running to matter.

The campus group is connected with a non-profit ministry in Nakuru, Kenya. The group, Word Ablaze Ministries, is currently working to provide aid to Kenyan refugees, enabling families to resettle or reclaim their lost properties. WAM has provided aid to three Kenyan families within the last 10 months. With the money that R4Kenya raised in running the marathon, the group will be able to sponsor two more families.

In our first year as an on-campus group, we are extremely excited about this and we wish to share our excitement with the rest of the Eastern campus. Thank you to everyone who was involved in either running or supporting – we are excited to see how God will continue to use this group.

R4Kenya would especially like to thank Dr. Tom Ridington and family, VP of Student Development Bettie Ann Brigham, Michael Almond and Akron Second Sole, and all of our corporate sponsors, churches, families and friends. Thank you for being influential in making this happen and in sponsoring our cause. Our hope is that God will continue to use our talents to share His love with the world.

This spring R4Kenya plans to participate in two marathons: the New Jersey Marathon on May 3 and the Triple Crown Marathon in Delaware on April 25. Anyone interested in running in these marathons must register by Feb. 28.

R4Kenya is also looking into joining a local ministry, Back on My Feet, that runs and interacts with the homeless in Philadelphia.

For more information on how to get involved, contact Mike Wilson at mwilson@eastern.edu or check out the group’s Facebook page.

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