Chris Robbie, a University of Colorado at Boulder graduate, was captivated by the big smiles on small faces that eagerly learned in classrooms made of mud on his first Ugandan visit in 2012.
“When I was on the plane [back home] I just didn’t want to forget about these kids and these teachers,” Robbie said.
So he hasn’t. Actually, he is reminded every time he puts on his running shoes.
“When I tell non-runners what I’m doing they’re like, ‘Is that even possible?’ Which is a good question,” Robbie laughed, “And then runners, when I tell them I’m doing 15 marathons, they’re like, ‘That’s doable, but it’s going to be really, really tough, both physically and mentally,” he said.
You can run, but you can’t hide compassion.
Chris Robbie created a non-profit called Enduring Communities, based in Longmont, solely to educate and improve small communities like the tiny Ugandan village that’s become his second home.
A place where students cannot wait to learn,”Some of our students walk four miles to get to school,” he said.
Ten tiny classrooms fill each day with more than 300 students. Chris’ organization gives them books, supplies and teachers. 15 of them.
“15 marathons. One for each teacher, in the hopes to raise one teacher’s salary, which is about $750 a year. So, the hope is I can raise each teacher’s salary throughout the 15 days,” Robbie said.
It’s a long journey, nearly 400 miles in all, but not one that Chris will take alone.
“All the kids are doing 15 laps around the school soccer field each day I’m doing my 15 marathons. Even though they can’t be watching me they’re there in spirit, running with me,” Robbie said.
Each finish line Robbie crosses in Colorado, will be a victory for a tiny town across the globe.
He runs his his first marathon on June 16.
Robbie will return to Uganda in July before beginning Law School at Notre Dame in the fall.
To follow Robbie along on his journey visit: www.15foruganda.com
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source: 9 News by Kelly Sommariva