Who Do You Run For?
I Run 4 Michael (IR4) was founded by Tim Boyle in January 2013. It’s beginning with just 20 people, 10 runners and 10 special needs, has grown to about 30,000 members with nearly 11,000 matches across all 50 states and in 28 countries and four different branches: I Run 4 Michael, Kerri On: I Run 4 Remembrance, IR4 Siblings: The Unsung Heroes, and IR4 Wounded Veterans (data from September 2014). Facebook Stories did a video on the organization on June 22, 2016:
This past spring in the midst of training to run my first 5K through Big River Running Company’s START 5K Program I found out about I Run 4 Michael from a friend and knew I had to register. After waiting for about seven months I was finally paired with a buddy, Elijah, a 3-year-old boy from Alaska who has Down syndrome along with a handful of other health issues due to complications at birth. He recently was selected to be one of the Warrior Kids of Alaska that shares experiences, hope, and courage through the gift of photography and you can read more about his story here.
I am looking forward to dedicating all of my runs, walks, hikes, and other workouts to Elijah and in that process to get to know him and his family as well as what makes him super special, Down syndrome. #irun4elijah