Student by day and runner by night, elementary education junior Reagan Almos spends her free time training. Oct. 20, Almos will run the Kansas City Marathon as part of Team World Vision.
“My church back home, Community Covenant Church, is in their second year of supporting Team World Vision,” Almos said. “But it’s my first year joining them. They had brought it up again and I was actually down here at Pitt when they started telling people about it at church. So I actually got in on it later in the game.”
When it came to the decision to help out her church, Almos said that it was an easy choice. The decision to actually run, however, was not as easy.
“I was actually never a runner,” she said. “There were a couple of times back in high school that my drill team would run the Susan G. Komen 5K, but that was my only running experience before now, so it’s all kind of new to me.”
As a group, Almos’s church running for Team World Vision will help give clean water to people in third world countries, especially children. As an elementary education major, Almos was thankful that Team World Vision would allow her to help so many children.
“There were a lot of things that stuck out to me,” she said. “First of all that it focused primarily on kids. I also just, for years, this aspect of fighting hunger and helping kids has always just stuck out to me. So I figured fighting for clean water for them is another step that I can take. So it really connected to me on that sort of level.”
While running is new to Almos, volunteering is not.
“Volunteering has always been a huge passion of mine,” she said. “Starting in middle school I was going down and working with some of the inner city kids there and then we would do after-school programs there. As a sophomore in high school, I started volunteering as a youth leader for our church’s middle schoolers. And so I was volunteering with them and getting to do not only what the high school was doing but also what they were doing. So I was doing twice the amount of volunteering there. When I got to college I started taking on the high school ministry. So I’ve taken trips to Denver, Nashville, other places around the country where we do a lot of work with homeless communities there. That’s a huge passion of mine as well, which ties in really well with fighting hunger and clean water.”
Almos has trained running the marathon since early May. However, she said she feels as if the extent of her training has almost been too much.
“Considering I wasn’t a runner before, I really wanted to get myself started early,” she said. “However, unfortunately, that has put me in a bit of a slump recently where I have been over-trained and it has exhausted me physically. Surprisingly, though, the fundraising has been harder than the running. I have done social media posts, talked to people about it, and tried to market myself. It hasn’t worked out so far.”
Almos has taken donations in any way that people are willing to give them. She also has a Go Fund Me page that anyone can donate to.
“My current goal is $1,350,” she said. “That would get clean water to 26 people. It’s only 50 dollars to support one person for life. It’s kind of a small goal compared to how many people can benefit from it, but it’s still a goal.”
Overall, Almos is excited for the experience to help a community that she otherwise never would have had the opportunity to assist.
“I think (my passion) just goes back to my faith,” she said. “God has blessed me to no bounds in my life and I see people who are not as blessed as I have been and my heart goes out to them and I want to share with them what I have and I want to share God’s love with them. I do everything to glorify Him versus me. I don’t do anything for a pat on the back or self-glorification. I do it all for my faith.”