Race #36 – A Million Miles for Justice

Juneteenth (June 19), I launched my portion of the 1 Million Miles for Justice

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:7

Race #36: 1 Million Miles for Justice

The Cause: The National NAACP

Partners Include: Fleet Feet, Black Girls Run, National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis

We are witnessing a record number of reckonings in America. I for one, am rooting for success, as we try to rectify our collective outloook on social justice in this country. My heart breaks for the Black community, with each and every case of police brutality, racial profiling, hate crime, and other behaviors and attitudes that express hate on the basis of race. Jesus, speaking through his words in the Bible, tells us to love all people. Not just some people. All people. God doesn’t consider the color of our skin. He sees our hearts. He sees our collective humanity.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

Jesus, speaking in John 13:34

A running club in Alabama created the “Civil Rights Race Series” including the 1 Million Miles for Justice. It’s a movement of runners collectively calling for social justice through their footsteps and miles, aiming for a million total between June 15 and July 15. I pledged to run 50 miles for the cause, which I launched on Juneteenth (June 19) and wrapped up on June 27.

After I wrapped up my miles, a number of high-profile runners such as Meb Keflezighi signed up for the 1 Million Miles for Justice!

Every run, I focused on the cause, which brought tears to my eyes. One particular day and one particular run was an especially beautiful day, which made current events all the more poignant. The sky was a gorgeous shade of “sky blue.” I ran on several scenic back roads, country roads. There was open space, farmland, a beautiful breeze carrying the sweet June scent of honeysuckle in the air. It was the kind of day when I felt like I could run forever.

So when I looked up at the sky, it was so painful to fathom how, under this true blue sky, a virus was killing thousands of people. It was painful to think about this beautiful clean air that I’m breathing as I have the freedom to run, was the same air that George Floyd needed, to simply continue breathing. Here’s are two photos from that run…

A million miles are made up of millions of individual steps. And it’s going to take each of our individual actions to activate change in America’s race relations.

As the pandemic wears on, it’s wearing me out emotionally–and all other issues such as our racial and political divides feel magnified. But the physical act of running is such great therapy. Telling others about the causes behind my runs help me feel as though I’m working toward solutions.

I completed my 50 miles on June 27 with a 16-mile run on a 90-degree, high humidity day:

At the time I completed my 50 miles, I finished as runner #791 of 2219 runners.

As of June 29, 4,888 runners of all races and nationalities, representing all 50 states and 16 countries, had completed 77,800+ miles.

Here is my finishers’ certificate:

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