Run If Forward (RIF) brings awareness and focus to some of the America’s most underserved schools. With great need along the most historic highway, Route 66, every step of the highway is covered by a pounding of the pavement by a runner. Each step is a stride towards a better tomorrow.
The Main Street of America becomes the classroom where education and academics meets endurance athletes running it forward. Knowing the greatest reward is not a payback but a pay it forward, a small group of ‘soccer moms’ of action are passionate about the plight of education for today’s children.
Seeing that Small Town, USA is often forgotten, RIF syncs with the rhythm of what makes America great, the people.
The three moms opt to redefine the perception of ‘real housewives.’ These progressive, driven, and compassionate activists are more interested in changing the world and leaving the world better than they found it. Connected to the endurance world, they invited some of the top ultrarunners into their concept of compassion. It’s morphed into a motivational plan.
Grab eight ultra runners and shove their ego and pension for painstaking distances into a constantly moving tour bus from Chicago to California. Covering a marathon a day for nearly twenty days straight, the runners leap frog in 13 mile rotating segments. Stopping along the way, the team motivates and mentors kids to maximize their education by minimizing the hurdles they’ll face.
THE PROBLEMATIC HURDLES
Students lack access to adequate health and dental care.
Students lack access to early detection and sustained emotional care towards wholeness.
Students lack access to healthy and nutritional resources, replacing fitness with fatigue.
Student lack literacy and are often promoted with out reading at grade level.
Eight States’ along the Route 66 path have been hit by the global recession. Run It Forward seeks to assist some of the most severely impacted schools. Traveling in a tour bus similar to a rock band, The Run It Forward Tour is where education and endurance collide.
Each runner carries a different motivation. None lack confidence or courage; all have a measure of ego. They have to have a measure of narcissism to even toe the line of a fifty or hundred mile run, much less finish one. Everyone of them has, many times. Yet each uses their pain to push them through to fulfilling the tour’s purpose.
The Run It Forward Tour has a splash of insanity and an over flowing abundance of “Driver-Type A” traits in each runner. The runners are crewed and assigned their running distances by the three soccer moms that are goofy, affirming, yet totally altruistic.
This is a collision of American entertainment and pop culture; The Real House Wives of Sacramento meets MTV’s Road Rules, meets the Boston Marathon for 20 days straight.
Entertaining and compelling .
Real people making a real impact.
THE POTENTIAL PROGRAM
When the RIF Runners arrive in the pre-determined town, a logistics lead team has already been in full motion with health care providers, children’s psychologist, physicians, dentist, and community leaders.
Addressing Health Care | A Health and Dental Screening Station for all kids
Addressing Emotional Wholeness | A discreet emotional assessing center
Addressing Nutrition and Fitness | A “Family Four K’ Jog & Walk
Addressing Literacy | Reading Rewards for the Roll Out of Town
Having identified the four greatest hurdles in a broken a education system, the RIF team’s plan runs the entire Route 66 path across America bringing awareness and resources to the campuses of greatest need. In each of the eight towns, a health fair venue, the 3K walk, jog, run race for kids and families will be hosted. Run It Forward leaves a Be Change After-School Running provided by Fleet Feet's TRACK IN THE BOX.
This after school program on the local campus is equipped with resources and trained volunteers. This serves as a greater launch for Be Change and their passion to plant a running program on the 50 most under-performing schools in America.
Erika Small had an idea while running with Be Change Founder Jason Harper of how his program need to expand beyond California in order to impact more schools. Harper affirmed her vision and along with her two closest friends, a plan was dreamed of running through the heart of America with a simple goal; bring a focus back to the forgotten. Small, an educational advocate and
ultra-runner, believed that where a child was educated should not determine whether a child was educated. Partnering with Be Change, a national education and endurance advocacy alliance, and because of their vast experience and inner-city work, the RIF Team targeted some of the most underserved schools along the oldest and most notorious highway in America.
Recognizing the value of their child’s education in a great school, each mom is motivated with commitment. Yet, recognizing that
value is not given to every child, each mom is moved with compassion.
MEET THE MOMS
Erika Small | Wife, Mother of two and an avid dreamer. Strong minded.
Former Oakland Raiderette.
Michelle Crews | Wife, Mother of two, Fashionista, Avid giggler, and
consummate party planner.
Jen Hamburg | Wife, Mother of two, Bee Keeper, Dog-loving activist who
keeps the other two balanced.
MEET THE RIF RUNNERS
Erika Small: Run It Forward Founder, Ultrarunner
New to the Ultra community, Erika will trade her soccer mom notions and PTO credentials for her ultra-longings. As one of the organizers of the Run It Forward Road Tour, the planning will be easier than plodding through a marathon distance a day for more than 2
Ray Sanchez: BAD Cup World Finisher
It is thought that there is not another ultra runner to have ran as many races of substantial distances in less than a five year career than Ray Sanchez. Sanchez finished the BAD CUP, the first ever, in 2010. Having grown up in an underserved community, the pain of his past pushes him to the promise of his future.
Shannon Farar Griefer: Moeben Founder
A race competitor of both Sanchez and Freeman, Shannon is an elite women's athlete and ultrarunning veteran. Her passion is her family and her running clothing company called Moeben.
Jason Harper: Be Change Founder, Run It Forward Advisor
A driving force for change and an advocate for education reform, Harper launched Be Change in order to address the lack of health care for inner children. His efforts led a campus where just 12% were enrolled to a finish line of 82%.
CONFIRMED WITH PROFILES TO COME....
Jimmy Freeman | So Cal Coyotes Running Club Founder
Keira Henninger | Leona Divide Race Director, Ultrarunner
Kate Freeman |
Dave Carder | Ultrarunner, Texan activist
Run It Forward is assessing partnership inquiries and accepting sponsorship opportunities. Whether you are an agency, corporation, grant funding source, or private individual, Run It Forward will not be possible without your generosity and commitment to the education of America’s children.
We offer product exclusivity with branding occurring at multiple levels. From printed promotional pieces, advertising mentions, vehicle wraps, and clothing branding, Run IT Forward is looking for partners who have an affinity for education and endurance sports.
To be involved through giving, use this secure online donation link.