Left, Adoptive dad Geoffrey Ketcham and (un)adopted team member Garth Thorpe sport R(un) for One shirts at last year’s event. Right, a runner participates in the 5K at Veterans Park. Photos courtesy of Lifeline Children’s Services.
There are more than 153 million orphans in the world today, and many of them might never be adopted. Once an orphan is too old to be adopted, he or she is left to fight the uphill battle that is life without a family.
There is no way to ensure all of these abandoned young people find homes, but there is a way to help pave the rough road ahead of them.
Five hundred people attended the R(un) for One 5K last year, and Elizabeth Gilmer, race organizer, said she expects around 800 runners to attend this year.
“Families, sponsors, adults, children — everyone came out,” said Caitlin Miley, race intern, of the event’s previous success.
Returning for its second year, R(un) for One plans to deliver another day of fun for the whole family. After all, this race benefits those who don’t have a family themselves.
The race, which will be held on Sept. 7 in Veterans Park, supports the efforts of (Un)adopted, a division of Lifeline Children Services. (Un)adopted works to meet the physical and spiritual needs of orphans who are unlikely to be adopted due to their older age. Miley said (Un)adopted “provides life skills and shares Christ” with these young people, usually around the age of 16.
Funds raised at the R(un) for One will benefit ministries in nine different countries.
“It looks different for every place,” Miley said of the (Un)adopted international efforts, which are catered to each nation’s culture.
Tents will be set up at the race for each country and its unique ministry for those who want to learn more.
For example, Miley said, deaf children in Uganda are seen as cursed and are cast out of their families. There, (Un)adopted has partnered with a local church to start a school intended to cater to their special needs.
Gilmer said she is encouraged by how much the community truly enjoyed last year’s race.
“Lots of people hung around long after the race ended, and so many runners told us it was the most fun run they had ever been to,” she said.
And how could it not be with all of the post-race activities? According to Gilmer, there will be food, live music from the local up-and-coming band Cardinal, kids’ activities, a bouncy house, as well as opportunities to learn more about specific ways runners can get involved in (Un)adopted. Food will be donated from a variety of local restaurants such as Jim ‘N Nicks and Doodles.
Other local business are contributing to R(un) for One’s success.
“We are excited to have Skin Diagnostics return as our event sponsor, as well as many others,” Gilmer said. “There are so many businesses in the Birmingham area that are committed to helping the fatherless both locally and across the world, and this is a great opportunity for them to invest in a ministry that is doing just that and get their name in front of hundreds of people.”
In addition to the 5K race, R(un) for One will also feature a one-mile Children’s Fun Run. This race will begin at 8:45 a.m., and it is not just for kids. Anyone is welcome to take part in the shorter race.
The 5K begins at 8 a.m., and registration opens at 7 a.m.
Registration for the 5K is $30 before Sept. 7 or $35 on race day. Fun Run registration is $10 before Sept. 7 or $15 on race day. Online registration closes after Sept. 4. Teams are encouraged to register together.
To register for R(un) for One or for more, visit unadopted.org/run or call 940-4623. Email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.