By Julia Randall
Eighty people and three dogs raced for rescue in The Exodus Road’s inaugural “Undercover Run” on Saturday, September 5 to support the freedom of trafficked women and children in the US and Asia.
The 5k run was an especially colorful one, as participants in undercover “disguises” such as glasses, masks, wigs, capes and tutus showed their heroic identities by speeding along the course at Cottonwood Creek Park in Colorado Springs. “I’m running stealth,” joked one racer, who ran holding a bush branch in front of her as “camouflage.”
The morning started with a kid’s Fun Run, where children dressed in superhero gear dashed to win prizes. It ended with an awards ceremony, emceed by local television personality James Brown, in which winners were given goodie bags with loot from local sponsors.
While the 5k run was full of fun, that wasn’t the only reason people participated—many took part specifically to support TER and its mission. “We wouldn’t normally do this (run a 5k),” said Breanna Speir of herself and her friends, who have long been acquainted with TER. As one of her group crossed the finish line to wild cheers, she added, “But we would do this for The Exodus Road.”
“As hard as this (the run) was for us, it’s nothing compared to what The Exodus Road is striving to do,” said Speir.
Jason Morgan won the men’s race in 19:56 and Rachel Quinn took home first place in the women’s category with a time of 22:33.
Martin and Adeline Flower won prizes for best disguises with elaborate costumes that included puffy orange and pink wigs and bright, vintage costumes.
Together we are making an impact by finding and freeing modern day slaves.Kate Maddox, the Financial Manager for The Exodus Road
We want to give a heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated in this event, including the runners, organizers, staff and volunteers.
Laura Morgan, the lead volunteer, had this to say when asked about her motivation for helping The Exodus Road:
“I volunteer to end the sale of people, to stop the emotional and physical torture of slavery. Human life is too valuable to be abused and sold as a commodity. I may not ever see the victims or hear about trafficking during a regular day but they are on my heart and I have to do something to work toward their freedom. It is not acceptable to pretend this is not happening just because we can’t see it. To borrow words from Ann Voskamp, “Not on our watch will we let women be made invisible so they can be made usable inventory.”
We are so grateful for Laura and her team of passionate volunteers who helped to make this event a success.
Please remember to post your photos and videos tagged with #UndercoverRun.
We are enormously grateful to our sponsors, who included: