Race Results

May 2019 View more

A Bolingbrook native raises funds and spirits for his 40th birthday

As a former student-athlete at the University of Akron, Richard Reliford admits to being a typical, self-centered teenager and young adult until he attended an Athletes in Action conference in 1998, which truly changed his life. “I met God,” he says, “and he changed my heart.”

Years later, after relocating to California, Reliford was introduced to the humanitarian work of World Vision. “Kids dying from not having clean water is not okay,” he says. To raise funds, the nonprofit supports 6K races, the average distance women and kids in the developing world walk for water each day.

Reliford immediately adopted the cause as his passion project, and got running—literally. After completing two marathons, two half-marathons, and an iron man in Milwaukee, Reliford put together his own long-distance trek called Mission1Race: a seven-day route with daily stops at mission churches along 250 miles of the California coast, culminating on his 40th birthday.

“I don’t even like running!” he jests.

“I don’t do this for competition, I do it to help others.”

Unfortunately, medical complications prevented him from finishing all 250 miles, but other runners came to his aid. And as Reliford recuperates, he knows the physical part is over, but the mission isn’t. For details about Mission1Race or to make a donation to World Vision, visit his website at mission1race.org.

Photo courtesy World Vision