Running for a reason

October 9, 2013 | 11 a.m.

Bethel marathon team raises over $12,000 for World Vision

Sports | Jared Nelson

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Michael Jolivette and Ben Cline are two of Bethel's Team World Vision members that are running in the Twin Cities Marathon on Sunday, Oct. 6. | Photo for The Clarion by Drea Chalmers

On Sunday, Oct. 6, 30 Bethel students will race along the hills of the Mississippi River valley in Minneapolis and St. Paul, sporting bright orange shirts that read, “I run because I care.”

These students are running in the Twin Cities Marathon as representatives of Team World Vision, raising money and awareness for communities around the world without access to clean water.

“Water is a basic need and a critical aspect of life that we often take for granted,” Michael Jolivette, a sophomore race participant said. “Our primary goal in running the marathon is spreading awareness of how bad the situation is in Africa and around the world.”

Jolivette, along with the other runners from Bethel, have committed to run the 26.2 miles as a part of Team World Vision. Although he has some experience in competitive running, Jolivette never thought of running the marathon until a friend approached him last winter.

“It was February when my friend Ben Cline asked me if I would be interested in running with him,” Jolivette said. “I never even considered it until he approached me, but as I thought about it, I knew that it would be much more impactful if I could go through the training and experiences with another person.”

The decision to run the marathon wasn’t a difficult one for Jolivette, who has participated in multiple 5K and 10K races along with stints on the track and cross-country teams in high school. Cline, however, had no experience as a runner and found his motivation in a sort of “bucket list” he drafted in the summer before his freshman year of college.

“Some of the goals on that list were pretty far-fetched and some were really easy,” Cline said. “Running in a marathon was near the middle in terms of difficulty.”

While Cline knew that a marathon was something he wanted to do at some point in his life, he didn’t know when he would go about pursuing that goal until a chapel service encouraged students to get involved with World Vision.

Cline perused World Vision’s website in search of ways to get involved and found himself registered for the Twin Cities Marathon within the week. He admits that he wasn’t completely confident right away.

“I called up Michael and to his credit, right away he said he'd do it,” Cline said. “That was really cool and made me feel better about doing it.”

Once the registration was complete, Jolivette and Cline had eight months to prepare in two areas: fundraising and training. They didn’t waste time in either department, as they began mailing letters to friends and family asking for donations and cutting down on desserts in exchange for extra portions of fruits and vegetables.

“My biggest concern heading into the training was my body–my joints and feet specifically–and whether or not they would hold up through all of the stress,” Cline said. The boys feel very fortunate to have made it as far as they have without any major setbacks.

“God has blessed us throughout the training, as neither of us have gotten injured,” Jolivette added. “We've been running on all sorts of terrains and you never know what to expect from conditions like that.”

Their training began with runs as short as a few miles and gradually increased up to runs of 22 miles. Physically, the men say they are in the best shape of their lives and feel as though the long hours they’ve put into training have adequately prepared them for the marathon.
Jolivette and Cline each had a goal of raising about $50 per mile, which amounts to a total of $1,300 for Team World Vision from each runner. So far, the Bethel team as a whole has raised over $12,000, and they are hoping to increase their total even more as the race draws nearer with a final push of fundraising.

With the marathon less than a week away, the anticipatory period is nearly over and Jolivette and Cline have begun to think about race day. Excitement rules their emotions, as Cline admits that the nerves have more to do with logistics than the actual running of the race.

“There’s 12,000 people running the marathon and an estimated 300,000 watching it,” Cline said. “We'll be up at 3:30 or four in the morning to get on a bus to get to the starting point. There’s a lot that goes into that process and I'm hoping that everything goes smoothly.”

Both men are extremely pleased with the training and fundraising up to this point, and they, along with the rest of Bethel’s Team World Vision, are ready for the experience of a lifetime.

If you would like to contribute to Bethel's Team World Vision, go to teamworldvision.org and click on “donate to an athlete or team” under the Fundraise tab, and search for BU.

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