Our Global 6K for Water in Detroit was filled with an electric energy. Why? Because 900 people came together with a passion for alleviating children’s suffering.
Experience the electric energy of this event with blogger Haley Bodine!
If I could summarize World Vision’s 2017 Detroit Global 6K for Water in one word, it would be “electric.” From the moment I stepped out of my car and started walking up to the welcome tent to the moment I went home, the event was charged with an incredible, electric energy.
This year’s Detroit Global 6K took place at Kensington Metro Park, a sprawling recreation area in the suburbs. Lakes, beaches, rolling hills, disc golf courses, nature trails, and more all create a family-friendly escape in the middle of a bustling metropolitan city. On Saturday, May 6, this beautiful park became a beacon of hope as nearly 900 men, women, and children committed to run and walk to provide lasting clean water to children in Africa.
I parked my car and walked across a large field to the starting point. Cloud cover made for a chilly morning (though significantly warmer than the 17-degree temps experienced during the 2016 Detroit 6K). When I arrived at the start line, the area was charged with the energy of people excited to be there. Sticks of orange and blue face paint were passed around. The faces of hundreds of children eager to be sponsored graced the race bibs of participants.
The dynamic voices of enthusiastic emcees boomed through the sound system. Talk about inspiring … those guys know how to engage people! They breathed purpose and potential into every participant, championing the needs of children around the world; it’s truly amazing the impact that speaking belief and potential into others can have.
Prior to the walkers and runners taking off, I got to witness one of the most powerful displays of the entire event: Six men had registered to take the jerry can challenge. These individuals launched out ahead of all the other runners and committed to carrying jerry cans filled with 35 to 40 pounds of water for the entire 6K in solidarity with those in Africa who do it every day. As the rest of us waited to set out on our course, this served as a powerful visual demonstration of why we were there in the first place: Each of us was walking and running so a child in Africa no longer had to.
At 8:50 a.m., the race lineup started. Runners in the front, fast runners in the very front, walkers in the back. Nine a.m. rolled around, and we were off. What had begun as a cloudy and cool morning quickly turned as the sun burst through within minutes of starting.
I’ve experienced my fair share of road races. But nothing compares to a Team World Vision event. In all my years of running, I have yet to come across another group of humans as genuinely kind and encouraging along the race course and as passionate about combating global poverty as the Team World Vision crew. I’ve never received as many cheers, high fives, fist bumps, and cheerleading along the way as I do when I run a Team World Vision event!
Each man, woman, and child was proud and glad for the opportunity to take a stand for another human being. I had the privilege of watching dozens and dozens of people cross the finish line. Every single one of them was smiling. When all was said and done, 900 people in suburban Detroit provided a lifetime of clean water to the same number of children in Africa. Twenty-seven children were sponsored on the spot, and more are being sponsored from this event as the weeks roll on.
The electric energy of the Detroit Global 6K for Water is sourced from a passion for alleviating the suffering of the poorest children in the world. Hundreds of people showed up to give their time, their financial resources, their hearts, their bodies, and their voices to obtaining sponsors for children and providing clean water to those who currently have access to none.
Regardless of times, splits, or personal records, that is a victorious race.
Haley Bodine blogs at Haley M. Bodine.