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Locals join philanthropic adventurer, Mark Jennings-Bates in a race to save lives in Guatemala
Rally4Life advocate Mark Jennings-Bates and wife Jackie are taking a team of ten people to a rural area close to Antigua in Guatemala to provide clean burning stoves to rural homes and help complete construction of a children’s education centre
For this specific trip, Mark Jennings-Bates will also be challenging himself personally with his first ever Ultramarathon. On November 17th, while Mark runs the 100km Cabrakan ultramarathon, the rest of the team will be supporting him and running alongside in 25km relay’s.
“I haven’t convinced myself I am looking forward to it” said Mark, adding “I opened my mouth last year to a friend who runs a charity in Guatemala and said I think I would like to do an ultramarathon, before I knew it we were swapping emails about this one in Guatemala... and here I am... it is humbling to see so many people joining us and changing their lives positively. At the end of the day the benefit will be for the children of Casa Esparanza.”
Joining Mark, will be a group of people who have mostly never run before in their lives. In fact the founder of Fe Viva, Kim Weiler has ignored the challenge to run in a ten kilometer race for many years and now has committed to running 25km in the ultrmarathon. “It has been amazing to see someone like Kim, who has only ever run on a treadmill before, get out in the middle of the summer and run 20km. I am totally thrilled” said Jennings-Bates.
The whole project will be filmed for a documentary by Producer Shawn Salen from Saskatchewan who will be joining the team. The documentary, titled iRun, will focus on the efforts of the team from training for their own personal run to assisting the Guatemalan children and families with stove installations.
Jackie Jennings-Bates, the President of the Rally4Life Foundation also has the recent earthquakes in the back of her mind. “Our objective is to lend a hand with the final construction work on the education centre and to install 15 or so clean burning stoves in homes, however, we may find that we can be more help to victims of the recent earthquake. We will stay flexible and see where we can help the most”
Regardless of what the team is able to help with, they understand that they will never be able to give more to the children of Casa Esparanza than they will bring back. For some, this is the first trip to Guatemala and for others this will be their second or third visit to the region. Casa Esperanza is a children’s home that is operated by FeViva, a West Kelowna based missions organisation founded by Kim and Lynn Weiler.
Recently, Kelowna Indie Band, Fields of Green, the winners of the prestigious Fox Seeds competition, held a fund raiser in Kelowna for the Run4Life project and raised close to $4,000 for the Guatemalan children.
For Kelowna area residents a 25km run is happening on the same day to support the efforts and raise more funds for Guatemala. Teams can enter, this informal event and share the 25km distance to run solo. Runners will be starting at the Bliss Bakery in Peachland at 2pm running in 5km segments. For details, contact Alexis Larson at email@example.com.
For more information, follow along at www.Rally4Life.org.