I'm planning to run 36 miles (aka the West River Ultra) on August 15th to raise money for the Stratton Foundation.
The Stratton Foundation is a non-profit that fights poverty in southern Vermont. Today more than ever, Vermont’s most vulnerable children and families need our help. Families already living in economic hardship are now faced with the loss of hourly pay and struggling to feed their children who relied on breakfast and lunch at school as their main source of food and care. Parents do not have the resources to stock their shelves or freezers, and as the length of social distancing increases, food pantries and organizations on the ground are depleting in resources and supply. The foundation’s Covid-19 relief fund quickly raised over $350,00 this spring for urgent assistance, but the need is still there. Already the fund has provided:
· Dental kits and supplies for hundreds of children
· Fresh fruit and vegetable boxes through the summer
· Grocery cards for vulnerable families to shop for food and basic necessities
· Thousands of meals delivered to families
· Supplies to aid in food distribution
· Weekend food for children at high-risk
· Devices for children with no education tools at home during distance-learning
· Health and education services for teens isolated, disengaged and falling behind
36 Miles of Trouble is the name of a short book that chronicled the challenges of the West River Railway that went between Brattleboro and South Londonderry from 1879-1927 [click on the link above to read the whole history]. While the railroad was never successful, the rail trails that now cover some of its former route are terrific, and I’ve been running along parts of it for years. While on a run earlier this spring, I thought about the challenge of running the whole route – South Londonderry to Brattleboro, 36.5 miles. The route isn’t the exact same as the rail line, but it’s reasonably close – here’s my MapMyRun plan for those who are interested. The West River Trail web site has additional details on the non-road sections of the trail.
I’m planning on heading out from the South Londonderry trailhead around 8am on Saturday 8/15 (Sunday 8/16 is my backup date). Josh and Simon are each planning to run half the route with me (18 miles apiece) and Wendy will be driving the support van (extra water, change of socks & shoes, etc.) If you’ll be in VT and want to join for a few miles (socially distanced) or wave along the route, let me know and I’ll send you more details. My ask to you is that if you’re in a position where you can make a tax deductible donation to the Stratton Foundation, please click the donation button on the right.