Running for water
London Community News
By Jonathon Brodie/London Community News / Twitter: @jonathonbrodie
Refreshments were plentiful at checkpoints in Gibbons Park on Sunday during the 1st Annual Picture This — Quenching Kenya’s Thirst 10K Run and 5K Fun Run/Walk in hopes to raise funds so Kenyans don’t have to go so far for to get their water.
More than 150 competitive runners and playful joggers came out for the scenic run around Gibbons Park, but the event was more than just getting some exercise or picking up a good race time.
The brainchild behind the event is Grade 11 Oakridge Secondary School student Abbie Lumani after she spent three weeks on a rural reserve in Kenya last summer.
The most inspirational part of the trip was a completely different kind of five-kilometre trek than the walk through Gibbons Park.
“I was told that we were going to a clean water source,” Lumani said, reminiscing about the water walk she participated in to fetch water for families in a small Kenyan village. “When we got there, I saw brown water with algae growing on the top. Clean was the farthest thing from it in my mind.”
The biggest impact came after the water walk when two respected elders in the community gave her one question.
“It was just heartbreaking for me when they asked us how far do your parents walk each day for water? That just kind of shattered through me like a knife,” Lumani said. “I get to walk a few steps to my tap and fill it as high as I want with cold, refreshing water and then I dump the remains out once I was finished.”
All funds raised through the event go towards the charity Free the Children to support a clean water well in Kenya, which costs around $5,000. The run was able to garner around $7,000.
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