A mutual passion for good works and long-distance running lead to Bro. Mike Nielsen’s idea of a 50-mile run to sponsor the food program at the Christadelphian School in Haiti. This Ultra Marathon in Ancaster, Ontario took ten hours and 35 minutes to complete, but the strenuous training and conditioning took an even longer four months. Ultimately, $3,082 was raised.
Bro. Nielsen has wanted to do something like this for a long time. He cites scripture as a commandment to help others. “Lots of people can run fifty miles,” Bro. Nielsen said. “We are told in I Corinthians 10:31, ‘Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.’ I wanted this run to be less about me, but more about what it meant for those in need in Haiti.”
Mike found Meal-a-Day to be the perfect organization to raise money for. It presented the opportunity to do good works for the Christadelphian community and generate support. “A lot of people in our world are suffering and Meal-a-Day tries to help those in need like Christ would have,” Bro. Nielsen said.
“Everyone still remembers the horrific earthquake in Haiti in 2010. What a perfect location to help this new school’s nutritious lunch program.”
Bro. Nielsen knew that the run would be tough. “I was asked the day before my run, ‘Why would anyone do something crazy like running for 10 plus hours?’ My answer was, ‘I’m running to raise money for Meal-A-Day.’ The response back was, ‘Oh, that makes more sense.”
As is the case with every marathon, there were difficult patches. Mike’s cousin Zack Farrar helped pace Mike during the last 20 kilometers, which, according to Mike, presented the most difficulty.
“Zack kept things light,” Mike said. “He pushed me to walk less and kept encouraging me to finish.”
Meal-a-Day made sure that Mike wasn’t alone in his endeavors. “Having the support of the Meal-A-Day organization was a huge help,” he said. “I didn’t have to worry too much about raising money, or keeping track of it. They allowed me to focus more on my training.”
Although presented with challenges, Mike kept his eyes up and focused on the reason he was running the marathon.
“Knowing where the money for this event would be going helped me so much during the run,” he said. “At times when I would slow down or want to walk, knowing the love and support I had received and knowing the good work I was raising money for kept pushing me forward.”
Mike is appreciative of all the donations and support he received. “Thank you to everyone who donated to this great event,” Bro. Nielsen said. “Your love and support helped me during the tough times during my run.”