I spent part of this weekend at the 5K Race to Eliminate Sexual Violence sponsored by the Ohio National Guard, the Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio (SARNCO), and Deaf Women Against Violence Everywhere (DWAVE). Race proceeds went to benefit SARNCO and DWAVE in assisting sexual violence survivors in Columbus. I’ve done other cause walks before but this has been my favorite so far.
I’m a walker, not a runner, but as you guys know, this issue is really close to my heart and I was really, really jazzed to participate! Kyle actually registered to race with me but he’s been running a fever all weekend and I didn’t want him to get sicker running in the rain so I went solo this time.
Some of the speakers talking about ending violence in our community…
Some of the images I have of today are going to stick with me for a long time, in the best possible way…a father carrying his daughter on his shoulders…another father running with a stroller and twins…a woman with a picture of a survivor (her sister maybe?) pinned next to her race id…and this shot I got as we climbed the last hill…a boy and a girl, probably in their teens, held hands for the last mile.
This race wasn’t just about raising money or awareness or even running. It was about consciously, physically moving in opposition to sexual violence. If you haven’t run or walked for a charity or cause before, it has to be the most empowering feeling being surrounded by 200 other people who are saying that violence in our world is not okay and they’re saying it without saying a thing. I felt a huge amount of love and support and encouragement from the other participants and I was so thankful to spend the morning with them.
It also gave me a newfound appreciation for runners and athletes (you guys are awesome!).