By Lori Austin
In 2015, I had the pleasure of attending the February W.O.O.T. trail running retreat in Okinawa. I always enjoyed running and ran races but my running was only enhanced and strengthened by W.O.O.T. via inspiration and admiration of those crazy, fun runners who have so much light, joy and happiness. I did my first Ultra in San Diego in 2015 with Kathleen Lennard and a few other trail runners I had met through W.O.O.T.
Fast forward to now to the present day. In less than 6 months I will honored and humbled to cross the 2018 London Marathon finish line. Coming off an awesome New Hampshire marathon in Sept 2017 I am eager to do more with a charity that began in Philadelphia as a way to keep moving forward. Running for me has always been about moving forward and now I’d like to help others who are experiencing homelessness to move forward to independence. In truth, we are both helping each other.
As some of you know I have done several fundraisers in the past including the Penn State Dance Marathon and the Washington DC 4 day AIDSRIDE. This race will be dedicated to Back on My Feet (BoMF), a nonprofit organization that – literally and figuratively- helps individuals experiencing homelessness get Back on Their Feet through running, community support and essential resources. BoMF works with area residential shelters in major USA cities, where members team up with volunteers to run three times a week at 5:30am. Members build confidence, strength and self-esteem. Those with 90% attendance gain access to job training, employment and housing. This international marathon helps raise money for BoMF with their national initiatives to start chapters in new cities.
LIGHTEN-ING Larry was born in England on Super Hero Day working in an elementary school on a military base in 2017. Stemming from silly colleagues over lunch having confusion over the name Lori coming from a thick Boston accent and hearing Larry instead. Larry took shape and became a funny character that existed in the staff lunchroom. Larry then took on superhero powers of spreading light throughout the world via kindness on SuperHero day. Please consider a kind donation for Lightening Larry to share light as she returns to London and raise money for BoMF members in the United States!!!!
Contributions can be made to:
Or if you prefer, checks can be made to Back on My Feet (Lori Austin/London Marathon on memo line), 100 S Broad Street, Suite 2136, Philadelphia, PA 19110.
Thank you so much for your generosity!!