Annie Ferret has had it on her bucket list since hearing about the Hood to Coast Relay.
In August, the 38-year-old Seymour woman can tick that off.
She will be among 12 members of Indiana Team World Vision competing in Oregon 's 39th Annual 199 Mile Race, known as the "Mother of All Relays."
According to Hoodtocoast.com, the world's most popular relay race attracts participants from more than 40 countries every year. It takes 12-person relay teams to run 199 miles or 130 miles from the top of Mount Hood to the beaches of the Pacific Ocean.
The event has sold out for 30 consecutive years and on the opening day of the lottery for 23 consecutive years. Every year, thousands of hopeful participants are on a waiting list on the website.
However, Team World Vision does not have to go through the lottery system as it receives 10 spots every year. It's the first time in Indiana people have represented Team World Vision in the race, scheduled for August 27th and 28th.
In the past, Ferret has been used twice on teams that were in the lottery system but did not make it.
However, an email from Amy Claire Patterson, Divisional Director of Team World Vision in Indianapolis, in early December provided the opportunity to turn the third attempt into a spell.
“It was one of those people who got that smile on your face and you think, 'Could this really come together? I know this race. I would love to do this race, ”said Ferret. "I thought about it, prayed about it, and thought," I can't miss this. That feels too right. "
This is the third time Ferret has completed a 200-mile relay with 12 people, as she twice led teams for the American Odyssey series, which runs from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to Washington, DC. At the time, she and her husband, Tim, lived in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
Patterson is the only person on the team that Ferret knows. She will meet the other 10 people during a Zoom call on January 26th.
When the ferrets and their young children Bauer and Maizen moved to Seymour almost four years ago, they were introduced to Team World Vision through their The Point church in Seymour.
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to solve the mystery of poverty. According to worldvision, it offers things like clean water, nutritious food, education, medical care, economic opportunities and spiritual development. org.
It is the world's largest non-governmental provider of clean water and has served more than 12.7 million people with clean water in the past three years.
All of the $ 50 raised will help build and support the infrastructure that will help a person get clean water for the rest of their life. People can have better health, better nutrition, and go to school instead of spending the day fetching water. In the developing world, the average person walks about 4 miles for clean water.
Teams in the US are helping by running and raising funds for clean water so these people don't have to walk. With orange and white jerseys, the participants at the events are easy to recognize.
On November 7, 2020, the Point team was scheduled to take part in the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, but it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, they completed the half marathon race in Seymour. To date, the team has raised more than $ 56,000.
That was Ferret's first half marathon for Team World Vision, but she ran the Global 6K for Water a couple of times.
The first was two years ago at SpringHill Camps near Seymour with her husband and sons and some of Bauer's friends.
Taking a break at a water stop still sticks in Ferret's mind.
“I watch my 4 year old son and his friends stop on this route and drink clean water without asking that it would get clean, that it wouldn't make them sick, that it would get the opportunity and they even start to connect the dots of what they could, I can't turn my head away from it, ”she said.
Bauer was so moved by the matter that he asked his parents if they could sponsor a boy who was shown on his starting number. You agreed to that.
Ferret had the head and heart knowledge of the cause and said she understood "the importance of mileage" and needed to keep running to support World Vision.
"I was blown away by the opportunity to do something I already loved to do," she said. "I love running. I know it's not for everyone. It's something I didn't love when I started, but I really, really enjoyed it, I love the community around me, me love to do it alone, I love that you can do it anywhere. All you need is a pair of shoes and lace up and go. "
The Michigan native said she started running in 2006, two years after she finished her soccer career and graduated from college.
“I had never run without chasing a ball. If I haven't trained for it, it just didn't make sense to me, ”said Ferret. "I'm more of a challenge, however. So I just started walking to one mailbox in my neighborhood, going to the next, going to the next mailbox, and I would increase that."
A few months later, she signed up for a half marathon, started a community, and set a goal.
The 200-mile relays and Team World Vision races developed from this.
“The way I saw this coming together is something I love to do anyway and now get the chance to do it with a purpose such as to just go out and do what I love to do, life for can change someone It's been absolutely incredible for me forever, ”said Ferret.
For Hood to Coast, the teams have 36 hours to complete the race. Ferret said each member of her team will run three different stages of the 199 miles. Men sit in one van and women in the other so they can rest between their racing sections.
"If the wildcard comes in, you'll likely walk your first leg one afternoon in the afternoon, your second leg sometime in the middle of the night, and your third leg sometime early in the morning," she said.
“You may or may not be able to sleep. When you go to sleep, it may be by the side of the road or on a sidewalk bundled up in your sleeping bag somewhere and you get squeezed in a van, ”she said. "Those are the things that make it so fun and incredible, but also the wildcards."
Ferret is now in the preparatory phase, in which a solid base is created to be prepared for the various heights, hills, paths and landscapes. She runs 3 to 6 miles at a time four times a week and does strength training. Some of the people from the November half marathon run with her.
In April, Ferret starts twice a day to get used to running at different times of the day. That requires some sprinting and mining work.
From now until the race, Ferret will also raise funds for Team World Vision. Hood to Coast's special purpose is to raise funds for clean water in South Sudan.
Each team member is asked to set a fundraising goal of $ 10,000 so that the 10 Team World Vision teams can raise $ 1 million.
"Team World Vision and World Vision as an organization said that we can end the global water crisis in our lives and not that far away," said Ferret. "If I can be a drop in the bucket for what it means in the lives of people like me – mothers like me, children like me – that's incredibly compelling to keep me going."
Ferret decided to raise their fundraising goal to $ 20,000. A friend encouraged her to buy $ 50,000, but she hasn't made that jump yet.
Whatever elevates her, Ferret knows it will have an impact, and the cause will continue to make her get off and run, even if she isn't training for a race.
"In the midst of such a strange time in our lives, and stranger every day," she said, "the opportunity to give others the opportunity to be part of something bigger than themselves and to get out of the tunnel." It's so easy to get in, it doesn't just feel like a phone call, it feels like a gift to me to do and say, “You guys, let's do something really good and great together. When so many other things seem to be shaking and crumbling, we can do so. Let's do that. & # 39; "