Some run for health while others run for fitness. One group of athletes is running to raise money to build wells in Haiti.
The Pea Ridge Running Club is on the starting blocks, ready to launch the second annual Run for Water 5k race. Proceeds from the race will support an organization called Living Water International that establishes wells, providing water for disadvantaged communities.
"It certainly is a great cause with much need," said Mike Everett of the Pea Ridge Running Club. "Something that many of us take for granted in our community is a matter of life and death in many areas of the world---clean, accessible water. Haiti is one of those areas."
Everett says 100 percent of the $20-$25 dollar registration fees will go towards providing clean water. The funds will build at least one well to supply a Haitian community with fresh drinking water.
Pace High School senior Austin Hardcastle is a member of the Pea Ridge Running Club and was influential in getting the race organized. He said he became passionate about the cause after visiting Haiti on a medical mission trip with his father. When he was 14, he and his father were working at a clinic, soon realizing that everyone was suffering from dehydration. He was inspired to do research on the matter, and organized the first Run for Water event last year, netting $5,200 dollars to provide clean, drinking water.
Some communities in Haiti are stricken with poverty, facing challenges when it comes to basic necessities such as water, Hardcastle said. People have to walk up to five miles for water and carry back 20-30 pounds. Often, they are using the same watering holes that animals use.
"Women and their families spend most of the day collecting water," Hardcastle said. "It takes time out of their day they could be working or going to school. That's the best way to get out of poverty."
There are some wells in the nation, some fortunate to have access to the water. Hardcastle says they are very basic, though. They aren't deep enough to tap into clean water sources.
Where --- Pace High School
When --- Saturday, Sept. 14 at 7:30 a.m.
Route --- Around NOLF Spencer Field
How Much --- $20 advance $25 day of the race
Register online at www.active.com/pace-fl/running/run-for-water-5k-2013