Race Raises Funds For Improved Water AccessAccording to the World Health Organization, 1.1 billion people lack access to a clean, reliable source of water.
The consequences are staggering: Annually, 133 million people suffer from the resulting severe intestinal infections; 160 million people contract a water-related parasitic disease — from which tens of thousands die; and 1.6 million people die from diseases caused by water and sanitation issues.
But three local activists — Joshua Goodson, Casey Moore and Jeremy Razonable — are looking to change that. The trio has launched the Water for the World Run, which hosts its inaugural 5k event at 9 a.m. Dec. 26 starting from Waikiki Shell, to raise funds and awareness for water issues. Proceeds will benefit international nonprofit Water.org, as well as local organization Na Kama Kai. In addition to the run itself, Water for the World Run also will feature an (optional) slip-n-slide at the finish line, live music and a beer garden.
The event is the brainchild of Goodson, whose concern about water access issues began during his travels to surf breaks around the world.
“I have seen people who don’t have clean water and just how terrible that is,” he explains.
In places like Costa Rica and Nicaragua, he’d meet people who’d have to walk for miles just to reach a water source — any source, no matter if it was clean or not. Then, in Indonesia, Goodson got sick from drinking a small amount of contaminated water. Luckily, he had the means to get medical treatment. But it got him thinking about all those people he met who didn’t have such luxury.
“It’s a huge issue,” Good-son says. “But I can change that — it’s solvable.”
Ten percent of proceeds from Water for the World Run will go toward Water. org, which works to provide clean water and access to sanitation for communities in developing countries. Water.org partners with each of the communities it goes into, in order to ensure that its systems are sustainable in the long term. Plus, $1 from each Water for the World entry fee goes toward local nonprofit Na Kama Kai, which provides ocean safety and conservation education for keiki.
Goodson, Moore and Razonable — all of whom are colleagues in tourism marketing — already have a second run slated to take place in San Diego in April, and within the next couple of years, they plan to bring the event to other major cities throughout the country. And they’re dreaming even bigger than that: Eventually, they hope to make it an international event.
In addition to raising awareness about the water crisis, Goodson, Moore and Razonable also see Water for the World Run as a way to help spark a larger movement of positive action. The trio hopes that they — “everyday guys who came together with this idea on a piece of notebook paper,” as Goodson explains it — can inspire others to give back in whatever way or capacity that they can.
It’s a lofty goal, yes, but in many ways, has been years in the making. A decade ago, while a 21-year-old college student, Goodson was in a head-on collision while going 80 miles an hour along an interstate bridge. His car flipped eight times, then slid upside down along the bridge before coming to a stop. He sees it as a miracle that he’s even still here.
“I should have died,” Goodson says.
“I have been searching for why I am here, what is my purpose, why did God let me live,” he continues. “I really want to do something that matters.”
Registration currently is being accepted and costs $34.99. (Prices will increase closer to race day.)
For more information on Water for the World Run and to register, visit active.com or waterfortheworldrun.org.