James' 900-mile run is a symbolic fundraiser.

It represents the average distance that women and girls in Africa walk every year fetching water for their families.

"For the past 30 days, I've awakened at 4 am every day, was caught in the middle of 3 thunderstorms and one tropical storm, experienced 20 days of triple-digit temperatures and pushed through immense pain and emotional exhaustion,"

James said.

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James' 900-mile run is a symbolic fundraiser. It represents the average distance that women and girls in Africa walk every year fetching water for their families.

"I ran 30 miles a day for 30 days to see 1,000 students and their faculty have a lifelong source of clean drinking water, to make sure they never missed another lesson because they had to walk to collect water or became sick from drinking it. I never did this for my journey or self-accomplishment; it was to better their lives. I truly had no idea how my body was going to handle this, but I knew that no matter what I was about to experience, I would make sure those students have clean water."

And he did just that. On July 26 (Day 26/30), James officially surpassed his fundraising goal.

"On Day 26, it felt like everything was crashing down on me with immense pressure. I checked our fundraising page to see where we were. The thermometer continued going up and up, finally stopping at $30,270 of our $30,000 goal. When I saw this, all the pressure went away, and it was hard to hold back the emotion I was experiencing. I was already packing my running supplies for tomorrow. I walked to the trunk of my car, which I have been living out of for this event, and sat there tearing up from the confusing feeling of happiness and tranquility."

As of today, James has raised over $33,000 and hopes to raise even more during his last day of running. On July 30, James completed his final mile around 11:45 am at Tamaques Park in Westfield, NJ. "When I cross the finish line, there won't be a crazy emotional moment of breaking down, but a feeling of tranquility and peace," James said.

"A lot has happened during the past 30 days, and it is hard to explain everything. My body feels good but is mad at me. I have consumed an outrageous amount of electrolytes and bacon for fuel. Everyone who has supported me has played an important role in helping me reach the finish line. I am constantly asked, "What's Next?" While I have a lot of things planned, I do not plan on resting, not until I see the St. Elizabeth's All-Girls School have access to clean water."

On July 30, Jame's day started at 4 am to begin running the last 30 miles of his 900-mile journey. He has been running 30 miles a day for 30 days to fully fund a clean water project in Uganda for his organization, MissionCleanWater. On the last mile, he was accompanied by 30 kids from the local community that have been running with him.

"Crossing the finish line was not an overwhelmingly emotional moment; it felt peaceful. This month has been focused around running 1,125 loops around a park. We reached the distance goal, accomplished our fundraising goal, and now it is time to relax and put all the donations people provided into action. The hardest part about finishing was realizing that I would no longer have so many wonderful people running with me every day. Each day, 20-30 runners come at their own time to show their support and help me carry on. I will miss them but am happy we are all in the same community.

There are so many people to thank for their support. This fundraiser could not have happened without the amazing support from Performance Rehabilitation and the Sassquad Trail Running Club. I also need to thank the hundreds of runners that joined me each day, sometimes completing the whole day. The project was accomplished because of everyone's help.

James' previous ultra-endurance fundraisers have funded water systems that helped 4,500 people and 1,500 students gain access to clean drinking water. Join James in his journey, donate to the cause, and learn more about MissionCleanWater

Article by: Mission Clean Water

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