The promotion is not currently available, expired 3/14/12
SHALANE FLANAGAN - in support of "4 South Sudan" project
2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist
American Record Holder
The Lopez Lomong story and charity was brought to our attention by Olympian and American record holder Shalane Flanagan. We want to help Lopez help the children of Southern Sudan so we have teamed up with Shalane and Run the Edge to help share this story and raise funds for the 4 South Sudan project.
There are two ways you can help:
1. This week (March 7 – 14, 2012) buy a copy of RUNNING THE EDGE book and automatically receive a signed autograph card from SHALANE FLANAGAN, a free GONE RUNNING SIGN sign and have $2.00 from your purchase donated to “4 South Sudan Project!”
2. You can also support 4 South Sudan by buying a t-shirt or making a direct contribution on www.lopezlomong.com
The Most Important Run
Posted by Adam and Tim on RUN THE EDGE BLOG
Imagine being kidnapped from church when you are 6-years old. Imagine you are thrown in the back of a truck along with other kidnapped children and taken to a military prison designed to make you into a child soldier to fight for a cause you do not understand. Imagine running is your only chance to escape.
Lopez Lomong does not need to imagine the above scenario. He lived it. He was a Lost Boy of Sudan; an innocent victim of a brutal civil war raging in his home country. His story is real.
In 2008, Lopez Lomong made the United States Olympic team in the 1500 meter run, but this was far from the greatest or most important run of his life. Sixteen years earlier he and a few other boys escaped from the prison through a hole in the fence. They began a three day ultra marathon they had to win. Running for their lives through the dangerous African landscape, they would need to outrun starvation, dehydration, wild animals, and enemy soldiers. They believed they were headed back to their villages in Southern Sudan but had gone the wrong direction and crossed the border into Kenya where they were taken into a refugee camp.
Lopez lived in the camp for ten years. Conditions were hard and most days he only received one meal. Still he found the energy to run. Running had been his escape from prison and now it was his escape from the hard realities of his new life. His family assumed Lopez was dead. Having no way to contact them and knowing the harsh realities of the war, he assumed they had been killed. He was alone in a sea of thousands of other lost boys and running to nowhere in particular.
When Lopez was sixteen years old (2001) he got a chance to escape again. While attending school inside the refugee camp, he wrote an essay to the Catholic charities about what he would do if he had the chance to come to the United States. His essay was so moving it prompted the Rogers family in New York to sponsor him to come live with them in America and start a new life. The first thing Lopez wanted to do when he arrived at his new home? Run. The Rogers family provided Lopez with a second chance. They supported his passion for running and enrolled him in school as a tenth grader. After an extremely challenging yet successful high school career, Lopez graduated and accepted an offer to run for Northern Arizona University.
In the years that followed Lopez won NCAA championships, USA championships, and an Olympic berth. But his success in running has not erased the memory of his life back in Sudan. He has been reunited with his biological parents and discovered that he has two younger brothers Alex and Peter. He is fully aware of how fortunate he is to have two sets of parents and to be living in a place with safe drinking water and plenty to eat. Now it is his turn to give back.
In addition to raising funds to build a community center in Sudan to help other children affected by the war, Lopez has teamed up with 4 South Sudan to help provide clean drinking water, basic health care, education for children, and life saving nutrition to families in need. Lopez was lucky but many more lost children are in dire need.