Runner Profile - Andrea Thiemkey

Today's post is by Andrea Thiemkey, a member of Team Refuge and our Run for a Reason initiative. Interested in learning more about Run for a Reason? Click here. When I first read about Refuge For Women's campaign, Run For A Reason, I immediately knew I wanted to participate. I thought, "I can raise some money. I can run a race, I already have a few scheduled. I can do this, no big deal." As I waited for my informational packet to arrive in the mail, I began to feel a strong tug on my heart that "running for a reason" should be a big deal. If I am running to raise support for the rescue and restoration of women who have been sexually exploited, the race I choose, the training I take on and the vigor of my approach must be a big deal.

Running a marathon has been one of those things sitting on my "someday" list since I started running to stay active a few years ago. Run For A Reason seemed like the perfect opportunity to accomplish this challenge in a meaningful way. So, I entered a race lottery and was accepted to run the Marine Corps Marathon in our nation's Capitol this coming October. I could not be more thrilled to be doing this race alongside of Refuge For Women!

Let me paint you a picture of me as a runner: I am not fast. I would not define myself as athletic. Honestly, I love to eat tacos way more than I love to go on a long run! But, when my body feels weak during a run, I am inspired by the strength and courage of the women on whose behalf I am running. When I feel unmotivated, I am empowered by gratefulness that I have the choice of how my body will be used that day. I know that crossing the finish line after 26.2 miles will be a moment I will not forget for a very long time because the reason I am running and the many lives that are being restored because of Refuge For Women, really is a big deal!

Follow my training and race experience on Instagram at #marathontrainingwithandrea