RickEy Lumpkin II
My story of running LA though now fueled by a tremendous humanitarian effort did not start that way.My journey began in May 2014.I was eating lunch with my wife's friend's boyfriend.I had just got him a deal on some really cool tech glasses and he wanted to say thanks.As we were finishing lunch he tells me that he's thinking about running the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon the next year.And not really thinking too much into it I told him if he decides to do it, I’ll do it too.I didn't really think it would happen.I would only see this guy maybe twice a year.So I said yes and we went our separate ways.Fast forward to October 31 and my wife sees him at a Halloween ball.He tells her that he needs to talk to me because he's going to run the marathon.My wife tells me that night.All day the next day, Saturday, I'm hating myself for agreeing to do it.I had just read some quotes in the Bible about sticking to your word and keeping your promises.So I spent Saturday trying to figure out ways to not have to run 26 point 2 friggin miles.
The next day on Sunday I go to church and prepare for Sundays as usual.But this Sunday wasn't going as usual.We had a special guest come to our church, John Huddle.And for 30-45 minutes John Huddle spoke to us about the lack of access to clean water in communities in Africa, and the need for sanitation stations and trainings, and how contaminated water is killing communities.He then proceeds to tell us, by running the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon with Team World Vision we can end the clean water crisis and bring life and hope to dying villages in Africa.I was instantly placed in one of those moments where it felt like the whole cosmos was telling me to run the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon.And after hearing that by me running, I could save some lives I had to do it.So as soon as church was over I took out my iPad and signed up for the marathon.
The next week I started training.Training was tough.I ran around my neighborhood in Westchester.I joined some friends in K-town to run.I did laps around the Santa Monica College track.Every Saturday we had a Team World Vision group that would run from a Coffee Bean in Westchester to the beach and just run down the beach until we had to turn around.Each week was further and further until we hit Redondo Beach.I didn't even like driving to Redondo Beach from my house, I never thought I would run it!Anyways, as I trained more and more people started donating to the cause.
The more I engaged in running, the more friends and family and strangers took a vested interest in solving the clean water crisis.When I started the marathon in 2015 I had raised about $9,800.During the run at about mile 20 (which looked more like a walk for me) I was hitting the wall hard.I think I took out my phone, so I could call someone to come and pick me up, but somehow I got my phone and went to facebook and started asking for more donations.And by the time I crossed the finish line, I'd raised over $10,000.That's 200 kids that now have clean water for life. It was an amazing feeling and an amazing accomplishment.Then I looked at the number of people that still lacked access to clean water and realized something very important.I have more work to do.And that is why I run LA.I'm running to give kids on the other side of the world a chance at life.During my fundraising, I told people that I will keep going until the clean water crisis has ended.It hasn't ended yet, and neither have I.