Starting in late July I will be hiking the 2,200-mile long Appalachian Trail headed northbound from Georgia to Maine. I will be attempting to set a self-supported fastest known time (FKT) and hike the trail in less than 50 days. I will need to hike around 45 miles a day for 50 days to achieve this. Heather Anderson holds the current self-supported women's record at 54 days.
I’ve been an ambassador with Free to Run since 2016 and had the amazing opportunity to run and hike with Afghan women in the stunning Koh-e-Baba mountains in Bamiyan, Afghanistan back in 2016.
What has happened in Afghanistan in the past decades and most recently last August, when the Taliban took back control in Afghanistan and reverted to restricting women’s participation in public spaces, has been very hard to watch, but we can not give up on supporting the amazing women of Afghanistan and of other areas, where women are not free to run or to make choices that affect their lives.
Even in the US, women are fighting to regain rights that recently have been stripped. The issue is not specific to a place or culture, but to standing behind women globally, to have the freedoms to control their own lives.
Fewer women attempt big adventures like solo long trail hikes. I hope that you will stand behind me in my attempt and in my request to fund important programs like that of Free to Run. The more women are seen taking on difficult challenges, the more normal it will become to recognize that women belong on the trails and in the wilderness (or on city streets, in the classrooms, or wherever they want to be). My tiny space in this will hopefully continue to raise visibility for women in outdoor spaces and encourage other women to take on big adventures.
About this Campaign
Official Fundraising Page for the 2022 Ambassadors Campaign
This is the official campaign for Free to Run's 2022 Ambassadors.
Free to Run’s mission is to enable women and girls to safely and boldly engage in outdoor activity in conflict-affected regions like Iraq and Afghanistan. Through a combination of sports programs, life skills development, and community outreach, Free to Run helps females to reclaim public space and change views about the roles they can (and should) play in a society.
Free to Run Ambassadors believe strongly in Free to Run's mission. Through their own campaign pages, ambassadors are raising funds to support Free to Run's award-winning programs for young women and girls. Programs are designed to develop women into community leaders who can bring people together across cultural, ethnic and religious lines.
Ambassadors come from all around the world to support Free to Run. They are running, racing, and pushing their own limits in solidarity with the young Afghan women who have been told by their government that they can not participate in sports.
Through Ambassador support and fundraising, Free to Run will work to provide sporting and leadership opportunities to our participants so they can be armed with the tools they need to succeed. Free to Run believes young women can and will be a force for positive change.