Man runs 24 hours straight to raise awareness and funds

By October 19, 2012

USA (MNN) — What do you think you could do for an entire day and night?

Drive? Sleep? Read?

Or run?

"Why would anybody be that crazy to want to go out and do that?" asked 47-year-old Roy Wiegand. But that's exactly what he did to raise money for Lifewater International. Wiegand says he logged 110 miles during his 24-hour jaunt.

The hardest part? Reaching the end.

"It was a real mix of getting really excited about finishing, and then the reality of my legs and knees kind've singing aloud to me," he recalled with a chuckle, "and saying, 'Ok, you've kinda gone over the line at this point! We've had enough. We want to go home!'"

Wiegand gave credit to his companions for getting him through those final miles. He noted one particularly helpful friend, an ex-Navy Seal.

"He was giving me a lot of first-aid kinds of things to help keep me one foot in front of the other," Wiegand recalled.

Finishing at the famed Rose Bowl on his birthday, Wiegand accomplished more than a daunting feat in exercise. He started at 6:00 p.m. with the goal of bringing in more funds for Lifewater than last year's run. When 6:00 a.m. rolled around and Wiegand completed his 24-hour quest, donations totaled over $5,000.

"We're really excited about that," he said. "People were very generous, and I think they were a little intrigued, too."

A few years ago, Lifewater visited Salem Lutheran Church in southern California. An Ethiopian gentleman accompanied the ministry and told the congregation about life in his country. Women and children tread countless miles to find a simple life necessity: water.

"It's just such a basic thing–water. And we take that so for granted here," Wiegand stated. "It just really caught my imagination: what we have and what they don't, and what could we do to try and turn that around?"

So, what has Wiegand done? Last year, he ran 100 miles and raised $2,100. Starting in Ventura, California, Wiegand underwent a climb in altitude of nearly 12,000 feet as he ran to Mt. Pinos in the Los Padres National Forest. In years prior, Wiegand and his family participated in 100-mile bike rides to benefit Lifewater.

His efforts benefit millions of suffering Ethiopians. See how Lifewater brings clean water to Ethiopia.

Severe drought in the Horn of Africa has not only exacerbated the lack of water, but it's made an existing food crisis even worse. The price of food in Africa is 200-300% higher than global rates. Pray that relief would come quickly for the suffering.

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