28 Mar A-Cross America Relay for Pro-life…finish line!
Finish line!…8 million steps; 2,026 miles (of the 4,089 mile course) with over 500 legs (5K) legs; and 1,235 LIFE Runners moving, cheering, praying our life-saving mission forward, forward, always forward…All In Christ for Pro-Life! The 2013 A-Cross America Relay for Pro-life is now a part of LIFE Runners history. Finish line photos.
LIFE Runners A-Cross America and around the world watched as the Relay kicked off at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. It was an emotional start to the 4,089 mile trek A-Cross America. Anticipation grew for runners as their leg approached not knowing what the weather would be like. Here’s a video with some of the pictures and footage of the first 2 weeks of the relay.
What an exciting physical and spiritual adventure. We faced all kinds of extreme conditions, sometimes surfaces that challenged us physically, we met great people along the way who offered support with food, prayers and friendship.
This biblical quest also grew the LIFE Runners (1 Cor 3:6) as a Pro-Life apostolate by more than 60% since December (744 new LIFE Runners). For each of us the miles sometimes clicked by quickly, or we had to pace ourselves due to ice or snow that was underfoot.
The harsh rain made for a very cold effort in Illinois and St. Louis.
While the snow and ice in New Jersey and South Dakota caused us to be a bit more aware of each step taken.
Then there was the isolation of the desert roads in Nevada, the very rural gravel roads through some parts of Missouri, the long lonely highways of Pennsylvania and Utah. In those places, it was about sacrifice and prayer…and powerfully lonely images that would bring greater awareness. Nobody Except God (Is 49:11-12) by Stephen Holinaty.
This relay did not escape notice though. It was the subject of news stories around the country. Like 15 year old James Vignola who chose to run in the relay knowing there would be consequences – forfeiting his ability to compete with his team for what he thought would be up to a full year. Since then, the MSHSAA reduced the penalty to 2 track meets. Read about it here. This story first hit the local paper, featured on the front page.
…and has since swept the nation – been covered by several national news outlets including Runners World online magazine. Social media is also buzzing with coverage of it too.
National Right to Life’s March 24th Facebook page post about LIFE Runner James Vignola garnered over 2,000 “Likes,” 195 Comments and 420 Shares.
James Vignola said this to the News Tribune who broke the story, “I thought it was the right thing to do, and my conscience was telling me to do it…I don’t like how they say it’s a woman’s right to kill a baby, I want to offer support for the unborn who don’t have a say.” We continue to read about James still, 2 weeks after he ran those relay legs.
In Omaha, NE, we heard about families teaming up to run the relay and the exciting big finish in Sioux Falls, SD had great media coverage too.
We took approximately 8 million steps to cross the finish line in South Dakota. Based on the average number of steps one person takes each day, that would take 3 years of someone’s life. It was because we ran the majority of those miles, it took 40 days. We passed through 17 states and 5 states covered every mile (MO, SD, IL, NY, NJ). LIFE Runner Grant Fenske drove 800 miles from Lafayette LA to St. Joseph, MO to run 7 legs (24.45 miles).
In South Dakota cowboys and cowgirls filled in the rugged miles A-Cross the Badlands. This short video was something out of the days of “Bonanza” or the “Wild, Wild, West.” The Kansas City/St. Joseph, MO area put together this entertaining video that documented their adventure. Then as both legs, east and west made their way through South Dakota, we were mesmerized by not only the extreme weather and sacrifices being made, but the beauty of the wide openness of that state. They too have a video thanks to Tess Allman that shows the last miles leading up to the finish line in Sioux Falls.
This year we had a goal of 50% filled…we covered 2,026 miles (49.5% filled)! Next year we will reach closer to filling all 4,089 miles. Same Lenten time of year (5 Mar to 13 Apr) and the same course for the next four years. After we fill the west/east course, we will add a north/south course A-Cross the Country. So, let’s invite others to join us next year for this great spiritual adventure…the 2014 LIFE Runners A-Cross America Relay for Pro-life!
A very big thank you goes out to Jeff Grabosky, who invested so much time and effort in mapping this 4,089 mile Relay and dividing it into 1,103 5K legs. He blazed his own trail A-Cross America in 2011. You can read about it in his book, Running with God Across America.
We have been collecting stories, photos, videos, prayers, reflections on our Facebook page, hope you like it and share with others.
Join the National LIFE Runners Team in the Black Hills (5-6 Oct)…All In Christ for Pro-Life! www.LIFErunners.org/