Ready, Set, Run

Runners pose in the rain under a banner that reads "Lace Up For RAINN 5k." Part of a RAINN fundraising event.  This past Saturday, more than 200 runners in Washington DC, and another 321 runners throughout the country, braved the weather and “Laced Up” for RAINN’s 3rd annual 5k to support survivors of sexual violence.

Lace Up 4 RAINN started in 2014 as a virtual-only race, in which participants ran 5 km in their own communities on the same day. Most runners formed teams to increase their fundraising goals and encourage their communities to get involved.

This year, for the first time, RAINN hosted an in-person race at the Historic Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC, to complement the nationwide virtual race. The event was complete with race officials, athletic sponsors, and a strong cheering section that encouraged runners and walkers of all ages to cross the finish line.

The morning event began with a short speech from the race director, Kay Ericson, who welcomed attendees and volunteers, and thanked the crowd for their fundraising support. “By showing up and raising money, you are ensuring there are free, confidential, services available to all survivors” said Ericson, “no matter where they live, or where they are in the healing process.”

Two survivors of sexual violence also spoke during the kick-off ceremony. Laurel spoke about the role running played in her recovery after being sexually assaulted by an acquaintance. Julianna, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, encouraged the crowd to believe in themselves and others who come forward to disclose sexual violence. Their remarks inspired the crowd and motivated the runners to start the race.

This year’s LaceUp for RAINN raised $55,000 from 521 total participants. The money will be used to support critical services that support survivors of sexual assault, like the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE and online.rainn.org) and important education efforts across campuses, the media, and Capitol Hill.

The race went off without a hitch, despite steady rain in the early morning and looming clouds. “We’re so pleased with our first in-person LaceUp...but we’re already planning for the next,” said Ericson.

Planning for Lace Up 2017 has already begun and registration will be open in the coming weeks for participants who want to secure their spot in next year’s in-person event in Washington, DC.

To view pictures from the Lace Up 4 RAINN 2016, check out RAINN’s Instagram account or search #LaceUp4.

We would also like to thank our partners and corporate sponsors for their generous support for Lace Up for RAINN this year:

Congressional Cemetery

Pacers Running

Potomac River Running

Newseum

Melodie Ann Photography

Down Dog Yoga

Bar Method DC

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