Run the 1 2018

December 1st, 2018

Ragged Point to the Baywood Tavern in Los Osos, CA

 Last year, we finished at the now Baywood Tavern

Last year, we finished at the now Baywood Tavern

Hey folks! Another year has passed and another Run the 1 is set to go off on Saturday, December 1st! Come join us again to run, to play, to celebrate, and to help the kids of Ubaka U Rwanda.

THE PLAN THUS FAR….

Our plans over the years have always adapted to different hurdles placed before us. It’s one of the things I love most about this event. All of us that come together, do so knowing that we all will have each other’s backs and figure out what we have to do to achieve our goals set forth. So the plan thus far is I (Sully) will run the fifty miles from Ragged Point, CA to Los Osos, CA. I suspect I will have many great friends joining me in different areas and/or running the whole track as well. Unlike the past, this year we will continue the celebration in Los Osos at the local Baywood Tavern. Donations will be accepted there, local entertainment, and wonderful folks will meet to enjoy the lovely place we live. Stay tuned for other details to come.

 Getting into Cayucos, CA

Getting into Cayucos, CA

WE’RE STILL KICKIN’

I realize it may sound like we are slowing some of our efforts this year which is sort of true in regards to an after party. However, we still have plenty of other efforts in regards to supporting the kids and having a good time too.

The Glorified Gardeners will be missing from the after party this year but they will still be rocking on another day. On Thursday, November 29th, you can find them playing at the SLO Farmers Market! Come have a good time with us. There will be a table where you can find info on supporting the kids too and we will be playing for donations.

 Fiston, Jack, and I jamming in Rwanda. I still don’t have a Glorified Gardeners picture. This must change this year

Fiston, Jack, and I jamming in Rwanda. I still don’t have a Glorified Gardeners picture. This must change this year

PALO ALTO

One of our greatest supporters and friend, Laura Palmer, will be throwing another Pre-run engagement in Menlo Park, CA on Novebmer 27th. Every year, more folks come, more money is raised, and the wonderful network of people over there get closer too. The best part is watching all of the kids growing up each year. We have been putting on little musical performances for years now. This year, the gang of kids have really upped their game and I can’t wait to listen and jam with them.

 Laura and I fumbling with our words of gratitude for each other in between songs

Laura and I fumbling with our words of gratitude for each other in between songs

EYES AND EARS OPEN

That’s what I got for now. Runners, parties, music, good times, good folks, and charity for the kids. I can’t begin to explain how grateful I am that Run the 1 is continuing as such. This is our eighth year! Look forward to some more posts as December 1st gets closer. I am excited to add up all of the mileage from last year to everyone’s stats and to fill people in on how the kids are doing these days. Stay tuned!

Komera,

Sully

 The house has improved much since this picture but the message is always the same

The house has improved much since this picture but the message is always the same






A Summary of Rafiki Runs 2018

 A mother runs with her child in a running stroller across Merrill’s Marauders in Merrimack, NH. I had the privilege of joining her and friends as we helped them maneuver the stroller through various obstacles in the trail.

A mother runs with her child in a running stroller across Merrill’s Marauders in Merrimack, NH. I had the privilege of joining her and friends as we helped them maneuver the stroller through various obstacles in the trail.

RUNNING, WALKING, and SUPPORTING the KIDS

October 6th has come and gone but the good deeds and memories will remain. For me, personally, it was a special one because it was my first time being involved in a bigger fundraiser for Ubaka U Rwanda in my hometown of Merrimack, NH. My traveling over the years has led me to doing most of my efforts away from New Hampshire. Luckily, Heather Martin and the Able Ebenezer Brewing Company took it upon themselves to get things going locally in 2016. This year was my first year helping and attending and it was an honor. There was a great mix of friends, family, surprise visits, and folks I had never met before.

 The runners and walkers in Merrimack, NH

The runners and walkers in Merrimack, NH

We had an earlier date than the years’ past so we could try to get some better weather for the runners on the east coast and we nailed it. It was a beautiful day. After the run, we had an all day celebration with food, beer, and live music. I am extremely grateful to those who came out and helped and ran. My favorite memory will be walking the last half of the course with some of my best friends, and my best friends’ mothers and enjoying the effort for the kids and the chance to enjoy where we live. Upon arriving back to the brewery, there were people all about enjoying their well deserved brew.

Thank you to everyone who ran, walked, donated, supported, and helped throughout!

 It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you go for the Rafiki Runs. It’s all about doing something good for yourself and supporting the kids in Rwanda. In this picture, on our way back to the brewery, my lifelong friend and our lifelong friends’ mothers enjoyed a rare moment of relaxation altogether.

It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you go for the Rafiki Runs. It’s all about doing something good for yourself and supporting the kids in Rwanda. In this picture, on our way back to the brewery, my lifelong friend and our lifelong friends’ mothers enjoyed a rare moment of relaxation altogether.


ENCINITAS, CA - THE UK - and MORE

As was the case last year, Caroline Weber and Jo Booth brought together their awesome network of friends for another Rafiki Run near San Diego and the ocean. I might need to get to their’s one day because they always help us so much and seem to have so much fun with it too. I can’t thank that group of folks enough.

 I cant say enough about the Encinitas gang. I only know a couple of them, but they are incredibly generous and humbling.

I cant say enough about the Encinitas gang. I only know a couple of them, but they are incredibly generous and humbling.

We also had our scattered supporters from all over the world, putting in an effort for the kids. Folks like my sister in San Francisco, or Lucy and her family in the UK sent photos to us to show their solidarity throughout the day.

 Lucy and her family went for a jog from the UK. Lucy has been helping the kids in Rwanda longer than I have.

Lucy and her family went for a jog from the UK. Lucy has been helping the kids in Rwanda longer than I have.

THE RESULT

Putting together everyone’s efforts on October 6th, we raised just over $2,500! That is the most we have raised on a Rafiki Run day so far and I couldn’t be more grateful. Add to the great feeling of accomplishment, we may add the benefits of just being with good people for a good cause and sharing a lovely day. The $2,500 will go directly to the kids’ school fees for 2019 and will surely go a long way towards securing their bright futures.

 I had the fortune of meet Luke for the first time. He has visited and helped support the kids in Rwanda as well. Luke is in the Coast Guard and came from Connecticut on Saturday morning to join us. It was awesome to finally meet him and strengthen our desire to work together to support the kids.

I had the fortune of meet Luke for the first time. He has visited and helped support the kids in Rwanda as well. Luke is in the Coast Guard and came from Connecticut on Saturday morning to join us. It was awesome to finally meet him and strengthen our desire to work together to support the kids.

UP NEXT

In the future for 2018, look forward to a few more events. I will continue my annual Run the 1 fundraiser in Big Sur, California on December 1st. I will run fifty miles from Ragged Point in Big Sur, to Los Osos, CA. Many of my friends, and family will join me that day as well and I can’t wait. It will be our 8th year! Stay tuned if you want to run, party, or support us.

 A classic photo from Run the 1 in 2016

A classic photo from Run the 1 in 2016

We still have school fee needs and running costs needs always for our home and kids in Rwanda. Please contact me if you are interested in sponsoring one of our kids to insure his monthly needs. It is our most intimate and important way of making a difference in their lives. I will return to Rwanda in January to insure they return to school well, update our sponsors, implement other projects we raise money for, and to spend quality time with my favorite kids in the world.

 Some of our kids in Rwanda before school one day. This is who I run for.

Some of our kids in Rwanda before school one day. This is who I run for.

Thank you again for everyone’s efforts on Saturday and throughout. These kids are worth it and will male a brighter future for themselves with our support. And one day, they will make Rwanda even brighter too if they haven’t already begun to do so.

Komera ( Be Strong),

Shaun Sullivan

Ubakasully@gmail.com

 Cheers from Encinitas, CA

Cheers from Encinitas, CA









Rafiki Runs 2018

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SAVE THE DATE!!!

RAFIKI RUN 2018

OCTOBER 6th, 2018

Yes, in deed, we are gearing up for another day of Rafiki Runs and we couldn't be happier to come together for it. Rafiki Runs are one of our best fundraisers since it brings together the most people from all over.

On October 6th, runners and walkers will get out and do their best in honor of our kids of Ubaka U Rwanda. Folks will get together from all sides of the USA, London, and even our favorite kids will be running some of the local hills in Rwanda (The Land of a Thousand Hills).

Want more info on Rafiki Runs? Check out the Rafiki Run page on our website.

 Our biggest Rafiki Run is put on by the Able Ebenezer Brewing Company and Heather Martin in Merrimack, NH

Our biggest Rafiki Run is put on by the Able Ebenezer Brewing Company and Heather Martin in Merrimack, NH

JOIN US

Or

HAVE YOUR OWN RAFIKI RUN

Would you like to join us? Currently, we have more formal runs planned to go down in these places....

  • Merrimack, NH - Able Ebenezer Brewing Company

  • San Diego, CA

  • London, UK

  • Kigali, Rwanda

However, if you are not able to make it to those locations, have no fear. The Rafiki Runs are all about joining in wherever you are in whatever capacity. Go for a jog or a walk by yourself or with friends and reach out to us so we can all share our collective efforts for some of the best kids in need.

 Hanna Stevens, our first Rafiki Runner ever, is still going strong with us in Seattle, WA every year!

Hanna Stevens, our first Rafiki Runner ever, is still going strong with us in Seattle, WA every year!

Truly, that is the sweetest part of this event, is the feeling of solidarity around the world. Help us help our kids continue their educations and build their lives and Rwanda around them. Please reach out with any questions and join us from wherever you are on October 6th, 2018. Thank you for everything.

Komera,

Sully

Ubakasully@gmail.com

 Some of our kids and Doug ( A volunteer) running

Some of our kids and Doug ( A volunteer) running

Rwanda Visit 2018

 School group photo

School group photo

RWANDA 2018

Hey everyone! Sully here, and I just got back from Rwanda. I still can't believe it was my tenth trip back to that beautiful country and the kids. Sadly, it was my fastest trip ever at just over three weeks, but I am fortunate to say that we crammed in as much as we could with the time given. I won't waste your time any further. Allow me to share some stories from the trip.

 Jack before he left for school

Jack before he left for school

SCHOOL COMES FIRST

We are incredibly grateful, once again, to share with you that all of our kids are back in their schools and doing great. We had some of our highest school fees ever this year but luckily our donors and supporters came through better than ever. Knowing their school fees were higher this year, the kids had concerns about their continuing education. I fielded their many concerns one evening and it was yet another reminder of how much they care about their futures and don't take them for granted. Thanks for helping us not let them down. It says something when Elisha noticed that only his first term had been paid for his boarding school (We usually pay for the whole year at once). He came to me to talk about it because he wasn't sure if there was a problem or not. I could see the worry in his eyes as we talked about it. In the end, there was no problem at all and he gave me a big hug when he realized that. But, it was interesting to say the least to see how much he was paying attention to his schooling.

 Clever, David, and Alphonse

Clever, David, and Alphonse

VISITORS

We had the fortune of having a few visitors this year. Some were expected and some weren't. Sky and I have worked together a long time now and both currently work in Alaska together. Sky took the decision to join me this year and I am so happy he did. We all are. The kids loved him from the start. Sky kept his birthday a secret from the kids but we made sure to celebrate anyway with him. Sky got me back by doing a belated 30th birthday party for me with their help. He also took really great photos for us, helped build our new roof, helped with our school needs, helped build a small home for a local elderly woman,  and showed them that not all visitors (like me) suck at playing basketball. I told the kids this and I'll say it again; Sky may have just met the kids, but he knew them a long time ago. Sky and his amazing community of friends and family have helped our kids for so long now and so generously. Thank you to all of them.

 Claude and myself throwing up bricks to Sky and Fiston. In this picture we were trying to throw more bricks than there were hands to catch them to see if they could manage anyways

Claude and myself throwing up bricks to Sky and Fiston. In this picture we were trying to throw more bricks than there were hands to catch them to see if they could manage anyways

Should you notice some finer quality photos in this blog, you can most likely trace them back to our friend Ben Yacobi from the UK. Sky and I had the fortune of climbing Mt. Nyiragongo in the Congo. Ben was with our group and we had a great time with him. It turns out he is a professional photographer. He agreed to come visit and take some great photos for us. The kids loved him as well. Since then he has begun to search out cameras that the kids can use to learn and work with in the future.

 This is the only picture I could get of Ben. He is crouched down next to Sky. This is our group after our night on the volcano

This is the only picture I could get of Ben. He is crouched down next to Sky. This is our group after our night on the volcano

A ROOF OVER OUR HEADS

As some may know, we have our land and our home we have been trying to build for a few years now. It is a slow process as we manage to take care of our kids each year. However, we were able to build our roof this time on our future home. It was good timing too because the heavy rain in Rwanda had full access to the house. We needed the roof to protect the building we had accomplished so far. This building session was awesome because it occurred while the kids were still on holiday so they got to help too. Sky, me, and many of the kids got to mix cement, move dirt, and move bricks for a few full days, and it was awesome to share the experience together. When it was time for the metal sheets to arrive, we all lugged them off the delivery truck too. After that, the roof was finished in no time. We still have a long way to go to live in our future home, but we can rest easy now knowing it is protected from the elements.

 The roof half way done

The roof half way done

 The roof after completion

The roof after completion

ANIMAL VISITORS

Does anyone remember a little puppy we rescued last year? Well I contacted the family that took her in and they came and visited one day with the now named "Roxy." I was excited to see how she had grown and for the kids to see the fruit of their good deeds. Roxy was extremely sweet but a little overwhelmed by the number of people in the household. Joel was our boy who took the best care of Roxy and was the most sad when we had to give her away. It was sweet to reunite them for a minute.

 Myself, Joel, Otto, and Roxy

Myself, Joel, Otto, and Roxy

 Amurand and Roxy last year, post bath

Amurand and Roxy last year, post bath

One morning we woke up to find a cat outside. More importantly, she had given birth to two kittens that night. She also chose the birthing site to be a pile of charcoal! I am not the biggest fan of cats but this cat was extremely nice and by all accounts, extremely tough so I like her. Little Keza named her Daisy and it stuck. Since that morning, Daisy has moved inside the house with her kittens.

 Daisy soaking up love from Francois and Lewis

Daisy soaking up love from Francois and Lewis

 Not-yet-named kittens from Daisy

Not-yet-named kittens from Daisy

FULL CIRCLE STORIES

I think "Full Circle Stories" should become a theme. In recent years we have gotten to the point where we have new kids coming home and starting school and grown kids finishing school, getting jobs, and moving out on their own. In one day, I got to see Eric (11 years old) come back from his first day of school, and then go to a local shop where Gentil (22 years old) now works as he gets closer to getting a scholarship to attend a local university. One of our older boys, nicknamed Dodi, took an internship cooking at a restaurant. Upon his completion, they offered him full employment. He came home one morning before I left so he could teach me to make the best Capati I have ever tasted. These stories are becoming more and more each year and it is so awesome to witness.

 Dodi, Claude, and Yves pumping out fresh capati

Dodi, Claude, and Yves pumping out fresh capati

GRATITUDE AND MORE PICTURES

I love to talk about the heart of everything, but the truth is, these efforts require fundraising and money. The other truth is that my last ten trips to Rwanda wouldn't be as special without everyone's support. Almost all of the stories I shared with you above would not have been possible without so many of you reading this. I hope we can all share a part of this. It is a massive joy for me to share with everyone, our combined successes. I can't wait to see what 2018 has in store for us. Thank you for joining us. Enjoy more pictures and stories below, and never hesitate to contact me if you want more!

KOMERA (Be Strong)

Sully

 A collective photo for all of our collective gratitude

A collective photo for all of our collective gratitude

 Yves ultimately failing to score on me. I like this shot for the Run the 1 plug.

Yves ultimately failing to score on me. I like this shot for the Run the 1 plug.

 Sky, taking in the view before the metal sheets arrived

Sky, taking in the view before the metal sheets arrived

 Our kids using new computers donated to us by my sister Lindsay

Our kids using new computers donated to us by my sister Lindsay

 Janvier helping Manzi out with a typing program

Janvier helping Manzi out with a typing program

 Tabaro and his paintings

Tabaro and his paintings

 Action shot for Claude while Fiston strikes a pose

Action shot for Claude while Fiston strikes a pose

 Yves, Ishimwe, and Joel worked really hard this day. It was fun joining them and witnessing how they aren't so little anymore

Yves, Ishimwe, and Joel worked really hard this day. It was fun joining them and witnessing how they aren't so little anymore

 Manzi and myself goofing around per usual

Manzi and myself goofing around per usual

 Unloading the metal roofing sheets

Unloading the metal roofing sheets

 Spreading out the metal roofing sheets on the lawn

Spreading out the metal roofing sheets on the lawn

 Sky and the kids decided to give me a belated surprise birthday for my 30th which involved dousing me with water and throwing me in the air.

Sky and the kids decided to give me a belated surprise birthday for my 30th which involved dousing me with water and throwing me in the air.

 The world's largest lava lake at the top of Mt. Nyiragongo in the Congo

The world's largest lava lake at the top of Mt. Nyiragongo in the Congo

 An average day without running water

An average day without running water

 Evode and I sandwiching his middle son, Caleb. Ubaka wouldn't exist without Evode dedicating his whole life to the kids

Evode and I sandwiching his middle son, Caleb. Ubaka wouldn't exist without Evode dedicating his whole life to the kids

 Some celebratory Fanta after a job well done 

Some celebratory Fanta after a job well done 

Holidays and Trips!

 Joel showing his excitement at Christmas

Joel showing his excitement at Christmas

CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEARS

AT

UBAKA U RWANDA

First of all, Happy New Years to all! The kids at Ubaka U Rwanda had another lovely holiday. Everyone woke up to a new pair of shoes and lots of goodies. You would be amazed at how much a pair of shoes means to our kids and others less fortunate. We heard the older boys helped wrap the gifts late into the night just the way it should be, in my opinion. Everyone had a wonderful sit-down dinner together with meat, which is a rarity for most in Rwanda. We were told it was a simple but special day spent with everyone.

 Ishimwe has grown so much!

Ishimwe has grown so much!

 Muneza being cool

Muneza being cool

OFF TO RWANDA

As I write this, I listen to the glorious music of being on hold with Hotwire.com. I have had multiple flights cancelled, no doubt because of the incoming storm tomorrow. I am not sure how long it will take to get a flight but when I finally get on that plane, I will be thankful. I will be thankful that I will be on my way to visiting my family in Rwanda for the tenth time. I never would have imagined that in 2008 when I first visited, that I'd still be doing it a decade later. I blame Evode and all the kids for stealing my heart and I am happy for that.

 Current roof building

Current roof building

 Evode and older boys piling in to help with the build

Evode and older boys piling in to help with the build

GOALS

Some roof building has already begun as I write this. I told Evode to slow down, and make sure he saves some work for me! That is one goal I am looking forward to. I will have the pleasure of preparing all of the kids to head back to school again which is always inspiring and fun. We have our loyal sponsors and donors that I work hard to get quality and genuine updates for. I have accumulated three computers that have been donated for the kids. I can't wait to get them fired up and get learning. There are a lot of other little things too. One goal, I try to remind myself of though, is to remember to just "be" with everyone from the kids, to my friends, neighbors, strangers, and the culture. Sometimes, life gets stressful with the charity work, but the truth is, I love Rwanda in so many ways and I am so grateful to take it all in.

Want to sponsor one of our kids?

There is no better time! Check out our child sponsorship program on our website!

 Christmas family dinner

Christmas family dinner

MORE TO COME

The next blog will most likely be when I get back from Rwanda in early February. That blog is my favorite because I get to reminisce about the trip and share it with folks. I will have more info about the hopeful success of the goals stated above and so much more. The best part though, is getting to show everyone the fruits of our labor. It always goes further than you would think. This maybe be ten years for me but some of you have been on this ride for a long time with me and I can't thank you enough. See you soon!

Sully

 During the holidays craze, Little David was reunited with his Grandmother who was so happy to take him home. We couldn't be happier for him.

During the holidays craze, Little David was reunited with his Grandmother who was so happy to take him home. We couldn't be happier for him.

 Sky Reeves made a last minute decision and will be joining me in Rwanda this year!

Sky Reeves made a last minute decision and will be joining me in Rwanda this year!

Run the 1 Results and Stories From 2017

 The runners and supporters enjoying their first beverages after running at the Baywood Ale House

The runners and supporters enjoying their first beverages after running at the Baywood Ale House

7 YEARS STRONG

This was our 7th year of us running, walking, or biking along on Route 1. By all accounts, you would have thought we'd have slowed down by now. I 'd say were doing just fine. Anyone who knows me by now, knows that I have a bunch of thanking and feelings to express in this blog. Let me share with you the results in statistical fashion for those who don't have the time or patience to read over my humbled ramblings.

  • Runners - 27
  • Bikers - 9
  • Running Miles - 473
  • Biking Miles - 440
  • Miles (total) - 913
  • Money Raised from Run the 1 - 14k
  • Total Participants from Run the 1 and the Rafiki Runs - 211 (Estimated)
  • Total Miles from both events - 1488 miles (Estimated)
  • Average Miles per Participant - 7
  • Total Money raised from both events - $16,000 and counting!
  • Average amount of money raised per mile ran or biked - $10 (Rounded)
  • Good Times Had - Countless
 Impromptu rendition of Sweet Home Alabama

Impromptu rendition of Sweet Home Alabama

THE PALMER COMMUNITY

Most folks who have followed our efforts, probably know that every year, Laura Palmer brings together a wonderful group of people in Menlo Park for a pre-celebration for Run the 1. Over last few years, the kids have been growing up and participating more and more. This year, some of the kids performed Uptown Funk and You've Got a Friend In Me. We all got together at the end and sang Sweet Home Alabama too.

 Laura and her son, Noah.

Laura and her son, Noah.

We had a lot of new faces too. I was fortunate to have over 40 adults and kids listen as I explained the past, present, and future of our efforts. I was even more fortunate to have such a compassionate audience; an audience that had a lot of fantastic questions. Even the kids were asking thoughtful and intelligent queries. Each year gets better and more special. My only wish is that those kids could meet all of the great kids we take care of in Rwanda.

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RUN THE 1 - RAGGED POINT to THE ALE HOUSE in BAYWOOD - (50 miles)

If you are familiar with Run the 1, you may know our usual route. However, this year was different. Due to the fact that Big Sur is sadly still impassable,  there was only one day of running.  So Claire, Ben, and myself ran the entire 50 miles this year. I'm really slow so I started very early while Ben is very fast so he started later and caught up to me. Claire started when I did but finished a lot sooner because she is very fast too.

 Holmes gave me some support as he made his way to the start later than me. Tradition states we kick things off with a Tecate every year. At this point, I was 10 miles in but I think the Run the 1 Gods forgave us. 

Holmes gave me some support as he made his way to the start later than me. Tradition states we kick things off with a Tecate every year. At this point, I was 10 miles in but I think the Run the 1 Gods forgave us. 

 Here is a fuzzy photo of Claire just before the official start of the run. We aren't very good at taking photos.

Here is a fuzzy photo of Claire just before the official start of the run. We aren't very good at taking photos.

The other runners and bikers scattered themselves around all day as I was the caboose of the operation. Another difference from other years was the planning for supporting the runners which was less thorough than in years past. That, in itself, is a funny statement since we have never put too much thought into support in years' past either! However, something I have always loved about our event and the people who participate in it is how naturally everyone takes care of each other. I never went long before someone was checking up on me. And meanwhile people would be moving vehicles and checking up on others. Take a look at the impressive mileage of everyone this year.

RUNNERS

  1. Claire Mellein - 50 miles
  2. Ben Holmes - 50 miles
  3. Shaun Sullivan - 50 miles
  4. Brett Hildebrandt - 26 miles
  5. Devon Kelsey - 27 miles
  6. Katie - 25 miles
  7. Kona (Devon's dog) - 2 miles
  8. Victoria Torres - 5 miles
  9. Logan - 5 miles
  10. Michael Welker - 12 miles
  11. Jerry Green - 12 miles
  12. Jason Hall - 12 miles
  13. Kyle Nakazawa - 26 miles
  14. Ishmael Canas - 20 miles
  15. Gamm - 12 miles
  16. Jamie Sullivan - 5.5 miles
  17. Nicole Rogers - 5.5 miles
  18. Joshua Blacksmith and his infant daughter Sage in a stroller - 13 miles
  19. Taylor Castanon (Rafiki Run) - 8 miles
  20. Joey Rogers - 3 miles
  21. Courtney Carter - 3 miles
  22. Matt Madrigal - 10 miles
  23. Naomi Townsley - 10 miles 
  24. Kallen - 20 miles
  25. Cook - 16 miles
  26. Cooper Boneck - 12 miles
  27. Sam Kane - 20 miles

BIKERS

  1. Doc - 30 miles
  2. Goldstein - 30 miles
  3. Wiley - 75 miles
  4. Taylor - 75 miles
  5. Spencer Gordon - 100 miles
  6. Seth Larson - 15 miles
  7. Matthew Carter - 15 miles
  8. Heidi Esh - 50 miles
  9. Ben Agol - 50 miles

UNSUNG HEROES (PURE SUPPORT)

  1. Melissa Canas
  2. Cain Silvey
 Katie, Kona, and Devon joined me for a bit on the south side of Cambria.

Katie, Kona, and Devon joined me for a bit on the south side of Cambria.

THE BAYWOOD ALE HOUSE


This year was the first time we ended the run at a social gathering rather than a vista point. While we lacked some of the natural beauty of a sunset over the ocean, we gained hospitality, comfort, and community. The Ale House was stoked to have us and we were stoked to have a welcoming place to wind down after the day. The drinks are quality, the food is delicious and the folks there are genuine. For those who have followed us before and remember our nights in Fernwood in Big Sur; this felt like our new version of our Fernwood celebrations.

 My cousin Jamie and her rad crew from San Diego made it that day too

My cousin Jamie and her rad crew from San Diego made it that day too

THE AFTER PARTY - KREUZBERG - SAN LUIS OBISPO

The party was once again hosted by Kreuzberg cafe in downtown San Luis Obispo. We had a solid line up of music for the night. The biggest thing worth mentioning is that many of the members of The Glorified Gardeners had been in Mexico for a wedding all week. However, they made it a point to be back in time for the show. I was floored by their dedication.

I worked the door during the opener, greeting everyone and taking donations. It was a really nice experience. Our opener was a 15 year old girl named Izzy who was accompanied by her uncle, and half the members of the Glorified Gardeners. With little live experience with a band, you wouldn't have known because Izzy owned it. It was great to see her reaction to it all along with the reaction of her whole family in attendance. Samba Loca came bounding in soon after. We always appreciate them each year. They bring the party to another level. I was laughing watching  random people who had been in the cafe before the party started trying to study, giving up, and joining the party. The Glorified Gardeners, including me, finished off the night. I'm not exaggerating when I say it is one of my favorite moments of the year. I'd like to think people were not disappointed. I can say with certainty, I sure wasn't. And I was more grateful than ever for the gang coming back in time to join me. The party helped celebrate a great event, yet again, and brought in a lot of support for the cause. I couldn't have asked for more.

 Laura Palmer couldn't resist and she drove down with her son Noah to spend the night wish us. It had been a few years since she had seen the rest of the gang.

Laura Palmer couldn't resist and she drove down with her son Noah to spend the night wish us. It had been a few years since she had seen the rest of the gang.

AFTER THOUGHTS

I said it last year and I will say it again; I am so grateful that the event has occurred once again. I am now two years removed from the Central Coast of California, and I see others come and go too. And yet, I saw so many familiar faces and I even saw newer ones too. I was humbled to see newer members of the Arroyo Grande Hotshots, new smokejumpers, and folks from other fire modules I had never met before. And it is impossible to forget how many people came together for the Rafiki Runs as well just two weeks prior. Most theories would show us slowing down, yet we had our biggest community coming together ever over the past few weeks, and we raised a substantial amount of support for the kids in Rwanda too.

Every year, I have tried to list all of the amazing things that these events have brought to the kids in Rwanda, myself, and hopefully you too reading this. It is like a revolving door of awesomeness for so many in my opinion. And there were more than a few donations this year that were extremely personal too. All of these things are what allow me to run 50 miles. I don't enjoy running more than 5 miles and I rarely run much more than that at a time. I run 50 miles because I feel I need to earn such generosity in some way. I am able to accomplish the feat because I am constantly reminded and strengthened by the community this event has created, how lucky I feel for being a part of it, and all the ways it reminds me of the best parts of living and being alive.

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SO WHAT'S NEXT?

That is a great question. First, before I answer, I must thank everyone else that may not be named in this blog post that has made Run the 1 a reality. You know who you are. The next thing I must do is gather together with the rest of our amazing volunteers to determine our game plan for my trip to Rwanda in January. This will be my tenth trip returning to Rwanda and I am just as excited as ever to get back to the kids and get to work. Look out for a blog post in the new year that will outline my goals for the trip which essentially are now all of our goals. Also lookout for more photos from the run that still haven't drifted towards me yet, along with updated total mileage added in combining all the years of our efforts. I love to look back at those numbers to remind myself of the big picture of all we have done over seven years now but at the end of the day, one can look at any of the kids in any of our pictures and be assured that they helped secure their life and future for another year. And that's what its all about. The kids.

Endless gratitude as always, talk to you soon, happy holidays,

Sully

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2017's Rafiki Run Results

 Amuran taking the lead

Amuran taking the lead

RAFIKI RUNS OF 2017 - A SUCCESS!

Saturday, November 18th, was the farthest from a dull day you could get. From the early morning until the late afternoon, I was grateful to receive updates from wonderful people all over the world about their activities for Ubaka U Rwanda. Even while I was running myself, I saw pictures of my father and best friends in NH, the kids in Rwanda, and folks in Boston gearing up to start. This was the first time we organized the Rafiki Runs on their own day and it was well worth it. Check out some statistics below, and scroll down for some great pictures from the day!

STATS and NUMBERS

14 Locations - including San Luis Obispo, San Diego, Merrimack NH, Boston and Rwanda!

175 Runners (Best guess)

15 Dogs (Best guess)

575 Miles (175 people at an average of 5km each)

$2000 Total Raised and counting!

 Tabaro sharing our sentiments

Tabaro sharing our sentiments

STARTING BLOCKS

The Rafiki Runs of 2017 not only made an impact on our fundraising goal this year, but also proved to be the starting blocks for the future.

This year, they are helping us get that much closer to our goal of raising $20,000 during our year end events, including Run the 1. Run the 1 will be on December 2nd and will be a 50 mile run from Ragged Point to Los Osos, CA. Visit our Run the 1 page for more information.

 Don't forget Run the 1 on December 2nd!

Don't forget Run the 1 on December 2nd!

In years to come, we hope to make the Rafiki Runs our primary annual event each year. I think everyone that was involved learned a lot about how we can make this a bigger, global event; an event that will bring more and more people together and increase support and community in the future.

Personally, I can't remember a run I have enjoyed more than the one I took that morning of the Rafiki Run. I couldn't stop thinking about how many wonderful people were joining me somewhere out there all over the world. I hope people who ran and people reading this can relate as well.

A massive thanks to those pictured below who organized and participated in Rafiki Runs everywhere.

Please stay tuned for more on Run the 1 this year, the results of these efforts in Rwanda, and the bright future of the Rafiki Runs.

And as always, you can always donate through the website.

Thank you and KOMERA (Be Strong)

Sully

P.S. If you're still reading this, scroll down through the pictures for a funny story about one of our kids in Rwanda named Amuran, pictured at the top of this blog post :)

 Able Ebenezer Brewing Company's 2nd Annual Rafiki Run brought in the most people in Merrimack, NH.

Able Ebenezer Brewing Company's 2nd Annual Rafiki Run brought in the most people in Merrimack, NH.

 Pre Run Rwanda

Pre Run Rwanda

 The first Encinitas Rafiki Run

The first Encinitas Rafiki Run

 The first official SLO Rafiki Run included many Run the 1 runners but also some new faces too

The first official SLO Rafiki Run included many Run the 1 runners but also some new faces too

 Post Run Rwanda

Post Run Rwanda

 Some of our trustees  and supporters in the UK went out in the cold too

Some of our trustees  and supporters in the UK went out in the cold too

 Our original Rafiki Runner, Hanna Stevens, who has been running with us in Seattle for years now

Our original Rafiki Runner, Hanna Stevens, who has been running with us in Seattle for years now

 Doug and some of the the boys running in Rwanda. Doug is a trustee for the UK Chapter, lives in Rwanda, and a huge help.

Doug and some of the the boys running in Rwanda. Doug is a trustee for the UK Chapter, lives in Rwanda, and a huge help.

 Another old school Rafiki Runner, Kevin Chambers and Frankie in Wisconsin

Another old school Rafiki Runner, Kevin Chambers and Frankie in Wisconsin

 My sister and massive supporter, Lindsay Sullivan in San Francisco

My sister and massive supporter, Lindsay Sullivan in San Francisco

 Little Keza and Caleb went for a walk after all of their big brothers came back from their Rafiki Run in Rwanda

Little Keza and Caleb went for a walk after all of their big brothers came back from their Rafiki Run in Rwanda

 Big Ubaka U Rwanda supporter, Francisco and his girlfriend in Chico, CA

Big Ubaka U Rwanda supporter, Francisco and his girlfriend in Chico, CA

 The first Rafiki Run in Boston, MA

The first Rafiki Run in Boston, MA

AMURAN GOES ALL OUT

I couldn't stop laughing at the before and after photos I found of Amuran running this year. I'm proud of him. I am proud of him because he tried very hard, the pictures showed me how much he has grown, and he brought up his school marks this year which is quite a feat for him because he struggles learning. Great job Amuran!

 Amuran might have bit off more than he could chew at the beginning.

Amuran might have bit off more than he could chew at the beginning.

 Later on in the run... Komera Amuran!

Later on in the run... Komera Amuran!

 

 

 

 

Rafiki Run and Run the 1 2017

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Run the 1 and the Rafiki Runs are back!

Hello everybody! 

As has become the norm, we are gearing up for our big fundraising push at the end of the year via our two events: the Rafiki Run and Run the 1. 

What's not normal is the amount of folks and locations that are getting actively involved. We have many more friends putting in huge efforts on behalf of the kids in Rwanda.

Below are the dates, locations and info for those who don't wish to read the rest of this blog post. Keep in mind, some of the Rafiki Runs are still getting worked out so stay tuned as we continue planning.

Run the 1 2017

December 2nd, 2017

Ragged Point to Morro Rock

After Party - Kreuzberg, Downtown San Luis Obispo, CA

 

RAFIKI RUN 2017

November 18th, 2017

KIGALI, Rwanda

San Luis Obispo, CA

San Diego, CA

San Francisco, CA

Arcata, CA

Merrimack, NH

The United Kingdom

Boston, MA

Dallas, TX

Akron, OH

Arcata, CA

Fairbanks, AK

Janesville, WI

New London, CT

And more, there is still plenty of time to do your own too!

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About the RAFIKI RUN

Over the years, the Rafiki Run has evolved into a global, unified showing of support for our boys in Kigali, and a great prelude to Run the 1. When we realized so many of our supporters around the world that couldn't make Run the 1 were doing their own runs, we reached out to them to see if we could coordinate our efforts to happen all on the same day.

We were met with enthusiasm and generosity. The list above of Rafiki Runs includes countless folks taking time out of their days to bring people together to stand with us all as we show our dedication to our efforts in Rwanda. Some of the runs will be big events themselves, and others will be just a few great friends going for a jog on a Saturday. Regardless, every run helps and is really appreciated. All Rafiki Runs will be two weeks before Run the 1 this year on November 18th. We encourage anyone reading this who can't make it out with us to Run the 1 to consider finding a Rafiki Run or doing their own. We will help you all the way!

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2017's

RUN THE 1

Over the past couple years, I've seen a growing trend for Run the 1 to become a sort of reunion. I myself have left the Arroyo Grande Hotshots and now no longer work primarily in California. The same goes for many of the people who have been running with me since the beginning. However, I know that, like me, many of them do their best to make it for the event every year. It brings a great feeling of reunion to me and it continues to help Ubaka's cause which is still just as important as it was the first year we did it.

Sadly, it has been a tough year for the Big Sur community where most of the running takes place. Currently, the Highway 1 portion of Big Sur has two places that are still impassable. Therefore, this year's event will only be one day. However, I do like the idea of having everyone involved on the same leg of the journey, so I'm not complaining too much. We will all get our workout together, enjoy the beautiful sunset, and party like there is no tomorrow in San Luis Obispo that night. Those wonderful things and more will bring us together and we will do our best to keep our kids in school and a roof over their heads..literally.

 First day of school picture for Manzi and Francois

First day of school picture for Manzi and Francois

 

Currently, I write to you in Merrimack, NH which is my hometown. All of my charity fundraising has always been in California over the years. It feels really cool to be working hard here locally now too, thanks to the Able Ebenezer Brewing Company for giving me their blessing to try to make a big event at their brewery. In between that, it has been a joy to work along with other Rafiki Run event planners around the country and world. At the very least, these endeavors allow me to spend time with a lot of people showing off the best that's in them. You won't see those beautiful things in the news, but it doesn't always take much to be reminded how wonderful a person can be even in these trying times.

STAY TUNED...

Thanks for reading. Please don't hesitate to contact us for anything. There is a lot of exciting things to come so stay tuned!

 Many of the boarding school boys before they headed out earlier this year

Many of the boarding school boys before they headed out earlier this year