Steve Sousek is on an ambitious mission — running approximately 520 miles across Nebraska to raise $52,000 for women in crisis and unborn children. Oh, and doing it all in 10 days.
To listen to Steve’s conversation with KRVN’s Austin Jacobsen, click here.
As an avid long-distance runner for the last decade, Sousek said the idea of running for a greater cause has often crossed his mind. RUNBORN gave him the opportunity to do just that. A life-long advocate of causes that value the sanctity of life, he wanted to do something to support women in abusive relationships or with difficult pregnancies. And as a past victim of a physically abusive relationship, he felt a deep connection with women fleeing domestic violence and could relate to their fear and need for support.
“I wondered if the purpose of me experiencing it myself was to prepare me to have a greater understanding of their need,” he said.
Sousek developed RUNBORN as his outlet to help – to support, in some way, the women who are also running for their lives, whether it be due to abuse or crisis pregnancies.
From June 20-29, Sousek will run two marathons a day to raise $100 for each mile. His route will take him from the Colorado border just west of Grant to the Iowa border at Plattsmouth. The entire planned route can be seen at www.runborn.org. Runners are welcome to join him for any length of the trek and can sign up on the website.
Sousek has completed almost 1000 miles in training already in the last few months to prepare and is hopeful his 54-year old body can endure the 50 plus miles every day.
“It will definitely be a challenge to run that far for 10 days in a row,” he said, “but knowing my effort is encouraging people to make donations to help support and protect women and unborn children at risk will be the energy I will draw from to get me through each day. The donations will be the encouragement for each one of the expected 800,000 steps I will be making in this run.”
Sousek is committed to completing the entire distance and plans to bring his bike along just in case his feet need a break for a few miles each day, if that is what it takes to complete the full distance.
“I only expect to use my bike as a last resort, if needed,” he said.
Before the race begins on June 20th, Sousek is hoping to hit the first level of fundraising, $10 per every mile — $5,200!
“Accomplishing this would give me incredible confidence, encouragement, and energy for the run!” Sousek said.
All funds raised will be split between St. Gianna Women’s Homes and the Women’s Care Center of Lincoln, two pro-life organizations with a history of caring for women above and beyond the point of choosing life for their children.
St. Gianna’s is an apostolate of Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska (CSS) that provides victims of domestic violence and other forms of abuse with a range of services, including a fully furnished 24-unit long-term housing complex. Additionally, CSS provides education, employment, and counseling services for families left homeless because of domestic violence. St. Gianna’s gives women a safe, secure place to stay and begin rebuilding their lives.
Women’s Care Center (WCC) was founded by Dr. Janet Smith in 1984, and has since become the largest, most successful pregnancy resource center in America, serving 30,000 women annually from thirty-two centers in eleven states. WCC offers free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, self-sufficiency training, education, counseling, and support after birth for as long as is needed for each individual woman. Sarah Kroner, RN, is heading up the endeavor to bring WCC to Lincoln and is raising funds to renovate the building at 5632 South 48th Street in Lincoln.
Sousek said, “I feel God has been preparing me for several years and is calling me to this challenge and will help me complete it. These women and children face much bigger challenges than the challenge before me to accomplish this run – their actual life is being challenged and threatened. I am running for their lives believing that my effort and physical sacrifice will inspire others to help support them with a financial donation, or sacrifice if you will, through RUNBORN.”
Sousek wants to tell his RUNBORN story “to inspire other people to be open to recognizing events in their life have reason and bigger meaning . . . fleeting thoughts or events as they happen may seem insignificant at the moment, but as we look back sometimes they piece together an intricate puzzle.”
Sousek will be completing his running for the day on June 23rd in Holdrege, and will also pass through Seward on Friday, June 26th.