On July 25th Marshall Ulrich will toe the line of the Badwater Ultramarathon to begin running across Death Valley for the 20th time! Why is he attempting this record setting feat? To promote the “real work of peace and justice” being completed by the Religious Teachers Filippini. This year the focus is empowering women and children in Adigrat and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. According to the United Nations, in Ethiopia alone 470,000 children are orphaned by AIDS… every year… creating Child Headed Households (CHH): families lead by a child under the age of 18. And, many war-widowed women lack skills to support their families.
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The Sisters empower women and children through education, giving them choices they otherwise would not have had in their lives. We believe completely that providing an education is “the real work of peace and justice” and have seen for ourselves the amazing work that the Sisters do here at home and in some of the poorest countries in the world. So, while Marshall has won the 135-mile Badwater Ultra a record four times, winning is no longer the goal. The reason he continues to return to Death Valley is to step outside of himself and do for others. Only this motivation keeps him going… mile, after long, arduous mile to the finish line.
This will be Marshall’s 14th official race and 20th time across Death Valley – both world records. His other crossings include a north to south crossing; the only 146-mile, unaided, self-contained solo from Badwater to the summit of Mount Whitney – a crossing that required him to pull a 220-pound cart, including all of the water he would need over the course of almost 3 days, and all of his food and supplies; and his four-time, consecutive crossing: the 584-mile Badwater Quad. During the Quad, Marshall set the record for the double and triple crossings, as well as the only Quad to ever be completed. In 1991 he set the course record: 26:34 to the 135-mile finish of the official race at 8,360 feet on the Mount Whitney Portal road, a record finally broken by an American in 2005. He still holds the record for the fastest crossing from Badwater to the summit of Mount Whitney: 35:54.
According to Sister Mary Beth Lloyd, Mission Director for the Religious Teachers, the greatest needs this year are the AIDS orphans in Adigrat and support to expand into Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Without you the children in Adigrat would have little to eat, and would not go to school. But, you can help! You can also help build an elementary school, a women’s center, and hostel for the orphans in Addis Ababa.
You can show your generous and sacrificial spirit and give thousands of women and children a chance in life by making a donation today! Please send a check, made out to the Religious Teachers Filippini Mission Fund, to:
455 Western Avenue