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Born Free USA Blog

Born Free USA Blog

Next stop: Utah

Published 09/30/09
By Cindy Haug-West

It feels like finishing the Shiprock Marathon in New Mexico was just a few weeks ago ... five months have flown fast. In four days, I’ll be in Utah, running the St. George Marathon. This will be my 15th marathon overall and my fourth marathon in support of Born Free USA’s work for wildlife.

As with any early-autumn marathon, training has been tough, because it’s summer in Sacramento. Several times I’ve gotten up before 5:00am on a Saturday to eat breakfast before dawn so I could hit the trail before the worst of the heat. I was lucky two weeks ago, after I started early at mile 22.5 on the American River Bike Trail, that the temperature was still in the 70s when I reached mile 0.5 at Discovery Park. Four days ago, having finished 16 miles in warmer conditions, I handed Joan my cell phone and GPS, then walked into Lake Natoma up to my neck. It felt great — and it reminded me of the snow monkeys at the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary, high-diving into a pool of water to cool off in the Texas heat. (See a video of this at www.bornfreeusa.org/sanctuary, or on the Sanctuary’s Facebook page.) That made me smile.

I keep a photo of Noelle, one of the Sanctuary’s vervets, on my desk at work. (You can see photos of Noelle and other Sanctuary residents, and read their stories of rescue and recovery, at www.bornfreeusa.org/sanctuary.) Her jaunty white eyebrows and expressive brown eyes remind me every day of the reason I’ve dedicated my 50-state marathon goal to Born Free USA’s work. She deserves the good life the Sanctuary gives her — wild and safe, in a community of her own kind ... which is what all creatures deserve. Born Free USA’s work and advocacy on behalf of all wild creatures inspires me. It is important work — not only for the animals themselves, but for the planet, which needs wild creatures to continue living their contributions to Earth’s health and balance.

In a world full of complicated conflicts, I hope Born Free USA’s simple passion — Keep Wildlife in the Wild — inspires you, too. Please join me in supporting this terrific organization by visiting www.bornfreeusa.org/cindy and making a donation of any amount.

Running for the animals,

Cindy Haug-West

P.S. Running geeks and other curious sorts, find me on Facebook (Cynthia Haug-West), add me as a Friend, and check out my Notes for my complete list of marathons.

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