Happy Holidays to the Free to Run Community!

During this holiday season, we wanted to take a moment to thank everyone in the Free to Run community. It's been a year of great achievements by our program participants, volunteers, Ambassadors, partners, sponsors, and all of the wonderful runners who ran to support us. From the 50K Great Relay in Hong Kong to the Marathon of Afghanistan, there are countless examples of people running side-by-side to push their physical limits, to promote equality, to strengthen communities, and to provide friendship.

Earlier this year, we asked a refugee from East Africa what Free to Run meant to him. Suleiman and his family left their country to escape violence and conflict. He has been running with Free to Run for one year. It was a simple question.... "What does Free to Run mean to you?" He said, "The following poem that I wrote describes it well,"

We ran to be free. 
Quite free of despair,
of wild fears and nightmares
We ran, my friend,
to be Free
Remember, we ran
to be. 

And now, let’s take
the torch  
And go to run
Befriend with
Mother Nature.
Let's hug the mountains
Embrace the woods
And like sunflowers,
Follow the lights
Of the sun
Let's freely dance
in the moon
With every beat of
A drum.

Free to live and love,
We have the right to
Feel free,  
I have a dream
That we'll become
fully free to live and love,
We always will to be
Free to run.

We run for you
We speak of you
We dream of you.
We live to sing...
For you,

The Free to Run team are working around the clock because we believe passionately that we can improve lives through sports. When we see this beautiful poem from Suleiman, or see Kubra cross the finish line in her first marathon, or watch a team of volunteers come out week after week to run with refugees... we are inspired to do even more in 2017.

For those who are celebrating this week, we want to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very happy holidays. And for the entire Free to Run community... all the best to you in 2017! May this new year bring you great health, happiness and peace!

Leah Anathan