Racing for change

Submitted photo

Best friends and running enthusiasts Carrie Saylor and Lindsay King are embarking on a project called Race-for-Change. Their journey will take place during six months and include six continents with a marathon in each while raising money for Women for Women International.

The itinerary starts in Europe with the Swiss Alpine Marathon in Switzerland on July 27, South America with the Yaboty Trail Marathon on August 18 in Argentina, Africa with the Cape Town Marathon on September 22 in Cape Town, Australia with the Melbourne Marathon on October 13 in Melbourne, Asia with the Mount Everest Marathon on November 28 (Thanksgiving) in Nepal and ends back in the United States with the California International Marathon on December 8 in Sacramento.

“We will be spending approximately one month on each continent. We have mapped out the places where we plan to stay, but there will definitely be a lot of spontaneity,” said Saylor, a Hamburg native and 2002 Hamburg grad. “This trip is a dream come true and we are both determined to take every available opportunity to immerse ourselves in the local culture and appreciate the experience.”

The journey is dedicated to raising money and awareness for the human rights organization Women for Women International.

“I am looking forward to all the people we will meet along the way. The new experiences and being able to spread the word of this amazing organization and make people aware of the amazing things that they are doing,” said King, of Bellefonte. “Of course, I’m also looking forward to the challenges of the races we will run and blogging about our training and racing journey as well. I am also very excited to be doing this with one of my very best friends. It’s hard to find someone who is, I think, just about as crazy as I am.”

The idea started around October, according to Saylor, when the friends expressed a mutual desire to see more of the world. King recalls reading the book “Half the Sky” and how the stories of women from all over the world and the hardships they endure every day really touched both of the friends and inspired them to do more.

“That is when we found Women for Women and we both became ambassadors of the organization,” said King.

“For some reason we just had the timeframe of six months set in our minds,” explained Saylor. “Then I showed Lindsay an article in Runner’s World Magazine titled “20 Races to Do Before You Die.” We both thought it would be a unique, exciting idea to pick six marathons on six different continents and plan our hypothetical travels around that. After we had that plan settled we thought that maybe we could add a bit more purpose to the adventure by raising money for a worthy cause.”

Both women explained that the planning process has been intense. They both work full time and after working all day, they would then spend another three to four hours working on fundraising, marketing and research. During the past month, the organization has become much more involved and more hands on in their support for the women.

They decided to raise money for the organization because the cause is one they strongly support and because of the excellent credibility and proven success and efficiency of the organization.

“We feel honored to play a small part in supporting their cause,” said Saylor.

The support of their friends and families has been great for both runners and they are inspired by the support those closet to them have in them.

“I am looking forward to the opportunity to experience new cultures, which is something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember. Also, as a runner, the opportunity to race in some of these places that I have dreamed of seeing my whole life is just unbelievable. Although I’ll probably be singing a different tune by mile 20 on Everest,” said Saylor.

“My expectations are to of course raise the $100,000 for Women for Women International and meet as many people as we possibly can and tell them about us. I hope to inspire others, not just women but everyone and let them know to go after your dreams and never settle for anything less than what you want out of this life. You have one life, work hard towards your goals and never let anyone tell you otherwise,” said King.

Saylor and King are looking forward to not only raising money for a cause that is important to them, but also challenging themselves and having a once in a lifetime experience.

“I think one that that’s nice about this project is that neither Lindsay nor I are professional runners. Although we have a fair amount of experience (twelve marathons and forty-plus half marathons and triathlons between us), we are not elite athletes. We’re not lightning fast, but we do have a good amount of grit and determination,” explained Saylor. “We just decided that this was the dream and then worked really hard to make it a reality.”

To learn more about Saylor and King and donate as well as keep track of their journey, visit www.race-for-change.com. For more information on Women for Women International, visit www.womenforwomen.org.

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