Posted By: Ted Wendel Posted By Ted Wendel, Project HOPE volunteer and photojournalist on March 16, 2015

Labels: , Alumni, Volunteers

Volunteer Bill Brent ran the full marathon for the iHOPE team

A cold, rainy Saturday morning did not dampen the enthusiasm of 20 runners – all members of the first-ever iHOPE team in support of Project HOPE - who faced strong winds and their own personal challenges to run in the Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Marathon in Washington D.C. These 20 volunteers joined over 25,000 other runners in an exciting and fun filled race through the streets of our nation’s capital. The course was inspirational. At the beginning of the course, runners ran around the Lincoln Memorial and across the Memorial Bridge to the entrance of Arlington National Cemetery and then back along Rock Creek Parkway. They finish line some 26.3 miles ahead was at RFK Stadium.

Bill Brent was inspired by the history on the course, and it helped him cruise through the early parts of the marathon. Bill runs a lot but this was his first marathon. He was recruited to the iHOPE team in January and has been actively training throughout a rough winter in Dover, Pennsylvania. Standing on the starting line facing the Lincoln Memorial was an overwhelming experience for Bill. His mission in life has become aligned with the Project HOPE mission. By joining the iHOPE team, he was able to extend his chance “to advance the common good and create opportunities for a better life for all.”

Rock 'n' Roll DC marathon and 1/2 marathon 2015 was completed by 20 iHOPE team members

The Rock 'n' Roll DC Marathon was the first time that Project HOPE has sought support by allowing volunteers to find friends who pledge funds if they completed the marathon. Team members came from all over the U.S. Some were seasoned runners while others elected to run the 5K portion of the marathon course. For many this was the first time as a Project HOPE volunteer. Because of their efforts, the iHOPE Team raised close to $12,000 to support Project HOPE. The members of the iHOPE Team are already planning to run in next year’s Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Marathon.

The message from each member of the iHOPE team is very similar to Bill’s. Each runner felt he or she was reaching out to help provide medicine and health care service to people in need around the world.

iHOPE team member Stacy Bowers with her son

The marathon ended as it began. A cold driving rain forced runners and supporters to their cars too quickly. Finish line celebrations were short but all of the team members received medals and the personal joy of completing a difficult assignment.

This is just the start for the iHOPE team. Check out the iHOPE website for upcoming races and to join our team! 

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