Katie Runs For Water

Katie Russell faced a long road after the birth of her second child. She, like other moms, put on some baby weight. 90 pounds to be exact.

A question from her 4-year old started her road to recovery.

"Mommy get down from the couch and play with me," Russell said. "And I couldn't get down from the couch to the floor without effort."

Russell decided running would lead to a more fit life. But the first time she laced up her shoes she didn't get far.

"I live about 3/4's of the way up the street and I was looking at the stop sign," she said. "I knew I couldn't make it that far."

Perseverance, faith and family kept her going. A few short races led to her first half-marathon last April. She's now up at 3:00 a.m. running for three and a half hours.

Her guilty pleasures? Joan Jett and music from Crossings Community Church.

"Especially when the sun is coming up, and you're listening about God and how he puts it all together with the water and the sun," she said. "Then then the sun rises and you're like hey God, I'm going to run a couple more miles."

Then the idea of a lifetime hit her.

"It's time to go big or go home," Russell said. "And what's better than running from Tulsa to Oklahoma City? Obviously that's the next step!"

It's the equivalent of running a marathon a day for four days. It's a great way to show moms in Oklahoma anything is possible and a great way to help moms in Africa struggling to keep their families healthy.

"She's trying to keep her kids alive and her only source for water is dirty water that's making her children sick," she said. "If I can run a few miles and change that for her, then why not?"

Katie is running for Water4, an Oklahoma-based non-profit dedicated to providing clean drinking water to families in crisis. The group teaches families how to find and sustain clean water, because the water they're now drinking is killing their children.

"When I run, that's what I run for. Every 21 seconds a child dies from a water related disease and that's not okay with me," Russell said. "So I'm going to do something about it and I'm going to run from Tulsa to Oklahoma City."

If you'd like to follow Katie on her run for water or donate to Water4, click here.

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