Nurse to run 100 miles for sponsored children

Hannah Covert and three other elite runners will run 100 miles each at the Chicago Marathon on October 9, in an effort to acquire sponsors for 400 children.

By James Addis, World Vision U.S.
Published October 6, 2011 at 12:00am PDT

This weekend, nurse Hannah Covert of Phoenix, Arizona, will take on her biggest sporting challenge by running more than 100 miles at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in an effort to get hundreds of children sponsored through World Vision.  

She will join around 1,000 Team World Vision runners aiming to raise $1 million for African communities in poverty.

The goal: 400 sponsors

Hannah, 24, will be the only woman among four Team World Vision runners who will run 74 miles, mostly along the Chicago lakefront, before embarking on the official 26.2 mile marathon course. They hope their combined efforts will help secure sponsors for 400 children.

The four will begin running on Saturday afternoon and run through the night in order to reach the Chicago Marathon start line in time for the official start of the race early on Sunday morning.

Hannah, a former college cross-country runner, has had to fit her training around her work schedules and regularly had to run in 100-degree heat to prepare for the big event.

But she says she was inspired to run the 100 miles after meeting two of her own sponsored children in Africa last year and seeing the benefits that sponsorship can bring.

‘I just thought of those little kids’

Last year, Hannah ran the 56-mile Comrades Marathon in South Africa and succeeded in securing sponsors for 56 children — one for every mile of the race.

Back then, she was cheered on from the sidelines by one of her own sponsored children, Ntombi, 7, who lives in South Africa. Afterward, she met another of her sponsored children, Pamela, 5, who lives in Kenya.

“When I felt like giving up during the race, I just thought of those little kids, and it kept me going,” she says.

Clean water means children can go to school

In Kenya, Hannah visited one community that recently had clean water piped to their village for the first time because of funds provided by child sponsors.

She says the children will no longer have to miss school to walk miles to collect water from muddy holes, where animals defecate.

“It means children there will get to school and moms will be able to take better care of their children. They will have a life beyond fetching water,” Hannah says.

The power of prayer

Hannah will be relying on the power of prayer to help her complete the course. She has put together a team to pray for her for the duration of her run, which she expects to take between 18 and 20 hours.

She says it’s also been prayer that has helped her find new sponsors for children.

“When I pray over a child and ask the Lord to reveal a sponsor, that is usually when I find one,” she says.

Two ways you can help

Pray for Hannah and her teammates as they run their race. Pray also for children who are waiting for a sponsor.

Sponsor a child today. Support Hannah’s effort to secure sponsors for 400 children.