Going the Ultimate Distance for Women’s Health

By Caroline Myran, Minerva Strategies —

Hamlin Fistula board member competes in the World Marathon Challenge

What lengths would you go to help someone in need? How many miles would you run?

You hear about people running races for a cause all the time – relay for life, race for the cure – there are hundreds of ways to run and raise money for an initiative. But when Sarah Ames decided to raise money for Minerva client Hamlin Fistula, she didn’t shy away from an ultimate, once in a lifetime challenge, something to really get people excited and inspired: running 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days.

7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days, wait, is that even possible?

Turns out it is. If you’re committed, willing and passionate enough, you can enroll in the World Marathon Challenge (WMC), an incredible feat that entails running 7 marathons on 7 continents in just 7 days. Sarah, who sits on Hamlin’s board, is running the WMC this month in order to raise money for women in Ethiopia who suffer from easily preventable childbirth injuries.

Last week, I had the pleasure of listening to Sarah be interviewed live on WBEZ Chicago where she gracefully and modestly discussed her upcoming adventure and why she’s running. To my incredulity, she sounded excited and not a bit scared. Equally incredulous and awe struck was her interviewer, Jerome Macdonald of Worldview, who bluntly stated, “This is unimaginable, I can’t believe an event like this even exists.” I agree. It IS unimaginable. But so is obstetric fistula – a horrible childbirth injury that is hardly recognized in the US because it’s so rare and preventable. It’s fitting that Sarah chose such an epic event to raise awareness of such an avertible issue.

This is what I love about the work we do with mission driven organizations like Hamlin Fistula – the work truly inspires people to act, whether it’s host an event, volunteer or yes, run 7 marathons – the sentiment is the same: let’s DO something to help someone else. Let’s go to the ends of the earth to fight for women’s health, dignity and prosperity. And getting to meet those people like Sarah and do a small part in helping them help others? That feels really good on our end too.

Wishing Sarah the best of luck this month in her runs across the globe!

Listen to Sarah Ames’ interview on Chicago’s NPR .