Clean drinking water is one of those necessities that many of us take for granted. Not so people living in Kenya's Rift Valley. In Kenya and other developing nations, microorganisms can contaminate the water and cause potentially fatal illnesses such as diarrhea, leading to thousands of infant deaths each day.
Recently nine members of the Warren Wilson College community, including several students, came together in an effort to help change that tragic reality. They competed in an event called 24 Hours for Africa, in which teams of 6-10 runners and walkers completed 5-mile loops in what was billed as the first team trail race in the United States. With the support of benefactors such as the WWC Athletics Department and Dean of Admission Richard Blomgren, the Warren Wilson team helped the nonprofit organization Run for Africa raise more than $20,000 to fund wells and other sustainable water programs in African villages.
The race, which started at noon and finished slightly more than 24 hours later, was held just a few miles from Warren Wilson campus. At times competitors had to contend with thunder, lightning and sporadic rain that made the trail going up a mountain muddy and treacherous.
Led by junior Kevin Lane's seven 5-mile loops, Warren Wilson runners logged close to 200 miles and finished third among the dozens of teams that ran. But clearly this was one race in which everyone was a winner.