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Why I am running again?
I am sure I am not the first or last woman to liken running a marathon to giving birth. I know at least one who wrote a brilliant blog about it last year after she completed her first on behalf of Every Mother Counts.
If you are with me on the analogy so far, you'll understand my reasoning for attempting another race. Running a marathon was definitely on my bucket list at some point but when I became a mom it fell further back on that list.
Then, last August, out of nowhere the opportunity came about and I jumped at the chance to challenge myself by running my first marathon that November. Well, it wasn't entirely out of nowhere in the end. As small as we were, and still are, Every Mother Counts was offered ten bibs for the 42nd ING NYC Marathon. We recognized right away that we knew enough runners to wear them. However, in committing personally to run on behalf of the organization I founded, it donned on me that there was perhaps no better way to highlight one particular maternal health challenge that arguably leads to countless preventable deaths related to both pregnancy and childbirth - distance. When we filmed "No Woman, No Cry" in Tanzania back in 2009, we met Janet after she had walked 5 kilometers to the nearest clinic- weeks past her due date and pregnant with her third child, hoping to deliver there. She was then turned away because of a shortage of beds after a few hours and expected to walk all the way back home. A few days later she returned but the staff and clinic were unable and unequipped to help her, so our film crew organized transport to get her to the nearest hospital 35 kilometers away. What we learned from Janet's story was that hers is not extraordinary. In fact, 5k is the minimum distance women must walk for basic prenatal care or health services of any kind and the distance of a marathon (26.2 miles) is not an uncommon distance for a woman to have to travel to reach emergency obstetric care.
Our team ran so that other moms don't have to walk and there was no greater motivation for every mile we trained and every mile of that race. When I hit my wall at mile 19, Nick, one of my teammates and also my running coach said, "think of all those moms, Christy. You can do this. You can do it for them." And I did. After I crossed the finish line last year I was asked if I'd do it again, and unlike after delivering Grace, when I knew the answer was "heck yah," I just wasn't sure. Not until we got the call once again, "How many bibs do you need?"
This year Team EMC has grown to 50. I have two kids, so I had to do it at least one more time, right?
If you supported me last year, thank you again. While I'd love your support again there are lots of ways to do so.
1. You can make a donation to my Crowdrise page here.
2. You can purchase an EMC t-shirt from Oiselle.com and come out and cheer us on.
3. You can run with us in solidarity on November 4th. Remember that any distance from 5k to 26.2 miles would be an amazing act of support of our mission. Every Mile Counts because Every Mother Counts.
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