Run to benefit village in Kenya

Published 10:11 pm Saturday, September 19, 2015

Integrity Worldwide’s Run for Kenya next month will benefit a small village thousands of miles away.

The race, which is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 17, is making its return for the sixth time but with a twist. The race is usually held at Bloch Park, but this year it will be run through downtown Selma.

“It is just an opportunity for us to showcase downtown Selma,” said Integrity Worldwide founder Averee Hicks.

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“The course runs through downtown and through Old Town. We wanted an opportunity to showcase how pretty Selma is and show that to other runners that are coming in from out of town.”

Run for Kenya will include a 10K, 5K and one-mile runs, and all three will start at Arsenal Place Accelerator. The entry fee is $25 and an added $5 on the day of the race.

“We do have online registration set up that has answers to any questions people may have. They can register multiple runners online like if a family wants to sign up,” Hicks said.

Runners will also be able to  pre-register the day before the race at Arsenal Place from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“We have a whole day of pre-registration Friday, Oct. 16, and it is going to be at Arsenal Place Accelerator. They can get their bib with the chip and their whole race day packet. We’re really encouraging people to do that,” Hicks said.
“We did it for the first time last year, and we were surprised how many people came.”

The 10K and 5K races will also be timed by Best Times, a timing company out of Memphis and certified by United States Track and Field. Hicks said last year’s race, which was voted the Selma and Dallas County Event of the Year, was a huge success with more than 500 people participating in the event.

Integrity Worldwide is known for its water projects in Kenyan villages, but their next project is a medical clinic in Meto, Kenya.

“It will have treatment rooms, a laboratory, radiology, a dental suite and a minor surgery suite, so it’ll be full service,” Hicks said.

“It’s not really considered a hospital, but it’ll be a full-service clinic that will offer general medical, OBGYN and dental care.”

Hicks said the nonprofit is hoping to raise about $75,000 to go toward the clinic.

“It will be life giving because they don’t have access to medical care. Women die in childbirth and children can die from an infected tooth,” Hicks said.

“They just don’t have access to medical care because transportation is limited, and they have limited financial resources.”

Hicks said paying a $25 entry fee might not seem like much, but every entry can make a difference for the people in Meto.

“So many times we think that a problem or issue is so big, and we feel defeated in a solution because it is just so much bigger than us, but just by registering, sponsoring a runner or by sleeping in … it really does help,” Hicks said.

“Each one of us can make a difference, and by participating in this. We really are changing the world. It sounds so cliché, but it really is true because it matters to one person.”

Hicks said when runners cross the finish line they will get a surprising finish but  wouldn’t release the details.

“We’ve done some things to make it really fun, and I think the runners going to really love it,” Hicks said.

To register for the race or for more information, visit