For the past two years, Four Miles for Water has looked a little bit different. While many of us have spent the better part of the last year and a half in our houses, Drink Local Drink Tap worked to provide an opportunity for us to get outside in a safe way. DLDT modified their annual fun run in an attempt to keep up with a bit of normalcy with this tradition. This year and last, 4M4W has offered participants three options: a four mile run, a one mile walk or a four mile walk once a day for 10 days. This four miles signifies the four mile walk that many Ugandan children embark on everyday while carrying large, heavy jerry cans full of water. This prohibits these children from doing other activities such as going to school. Participants were given 10 days to complete this challenge and paid an entrance fee of $30; this amount of money brings water to one person in Uganda for life.
Participants were given the freedom to choose where they wanted to complete their run or walk but DLDT’s website also provided routes that were mapped out ahead of time if people were looking for ideas. DLDT also provided a playlist to listen to while you complete your run or walk. This past year, DLDT was even able to organize a smaller in person opportunity for people to run or walk together. Around … people gathered at Nautica Entertainment Complex between the hours of 8 to noon and completed their 4 miles. While we were not able to provide the full range of activities like we usually offer, it was an opportunity to come together and get a taste of our normal DLDT events that we’ve been missing out on. It was a great motivator to complete your run and definitely more enjoyable than walking or running by yourself.
I was out of town for this event but that didn’t stop me from completing my 4 miles. As much as I have loved 4M4W’s in-person event, I have surprisingly found that there are aspects of the virtual version that I have enjoyed as well. Running in person is fun, exciting and motivating but running by yourself is thought provoking. Throughout my run these past two years, the peace and quiet of being alone has allowed me to think about the reasoning behind this run and why I am doing what I’m doing. I think about the ways in which my life would change if I had to do this everyday; the things I would be restricted from doing are such important parts of my life. It allows me to reflect on my privilege. Clean and safe water grants us so many privileges in life and this run has given me the opportunity to introspect about all that it has given me.