LINCOLN – On Saturday, Lincoln resident Steve Sousek is going to embark on an ambitious life-changing mission.
He is going to run approximately 520 miles across Nebraska with the hope of raising $52,000 for women in crisis and unborn children.
And he is going to do it in 10 days, covering the equivalent of 50 miles a day.
Sousek, 54, grew up in Prague and graduated from Bishop Neumann High School in 1985.
It wasn’t until 10 years ago that Sousek became an avid long-distance runner. That was the year a friend talked him into running a half marathon in Lincoln.
His long distance running career nearly ended before it even got the chance to start.
“It ended up being a miserable experience. I wasn’t even able to finish,” Sousek said.
Blisters and cramping ended his first attempt at a half marathon before he could get to the finish line.
Undeterred, he was back at it the following year and this time he reached the finish line, and the rest they say is history.
“I had to redeem myself,” Sousek laughed.
Since that 2011 race, Sousek has been competing in four of five marathon events a year and has even taken part in events that have covered 40 and 50 miles in a single day.
Over the years, Sousek spent time trying to come up with a way to run for a greater cause.
In 2017 Sousek founded RUNBORN, a pro-life mission designed to support both women and unborn babies.
Sousek has spent a lifetime as an advocate for causes that value the sanctity of life, and his goal is to raise $100 a mile across his 520 mile, 10 day sojourn.
Sousek will begin his journey early on June 20 near the Colorado-Nebraska border just west of Grant and will cross the state over 10 days ending up on the Iowa border east of Plattsmouth. The entire route can be seen at www.runborn.org.
Sousek has run more than 1,000 miles the last couple of months and his focused training since December have prepared him for his ambitious journey.
“It will definitely be a challenge to run that far for 10 days in a row,” he said. But knowing my effort is encouraging people to make donations to help support and protect women and unborn children at risk will be the energy I will draw from to get me through each day. The donations will be the encouragement for each one of the expected 800,000 steps I will be making in this run.”
Sousek has already received an astonishing amount of encouragement.
Before running a single mile, he has already raised $15,200, nearly 30 percent of his goal.
“It’s really amazing. It really has provided me with a great deal of determination to make sure I accomplish this goal,” he said.
Sousek plans on starting at sun up and running until 4 or 5 p.m. every day. After eating small meals and staying hydrated while stepping off miles, he plans on spending a couple of hours at night trying to replenish the nearly 8,000 calories he expects to expend over his 50 miles.
“It’s going to be a challenge to eat that many calories, but I’ll try. A lot of carbs at the end of the day,” Sousek said.
He won’t have a lot of time, because he wants to try and be asleep by 8 p.m. each night.
“I don’t think I’ll have a lot of trouble falling asleep. “I’m sure I’ll be tired,” Sousek joked.
Sousek it hoping that people will come out and run with him to help pull him along when the miles start to add up. He is also bringing his bike along, just in case he needs to get off his feet for a stretch.
All funds raised will be split between St. Gianna Women’s Homes and the Women’s Care Center of Lincoln, two pro-life organizations with a history of caring for women above and beyond the point of choosing life for their children.
“I feel God has been preparing me for several years and is calling me to this challenge and will help me complete it. These women and children face much bigger challenges than the challenge before me to accomplish this run – their actual life is being challenged and threatened,” said Sousek.
To support Steve Sousek and to learn more about his story, check out www.runborn.org.
You can also follow his journey on Facebook at www.facebook.com/irunborn.