Cheryl Bauman was on vacation in Florida when she got invited to run the New York City Marathon for World Vision.
She looked at her husband, grabbed the credit card and said “I’m going to do this.”
Bauman had never run a marathon before (26.2 miles), only a couple halfs (13.1 miles), so the next morning in the middle of June she went out for a 2-mile run in Florida.
“That was one the worst two mile runs of my life,” Bauman said looking back on it now.
For the previous four years, Bauman had been running half marathons for World Vision. Last year, she raised over $3,000 in the Indy Monumental Half Marathon for World Vision, which is the reason she got an invitation to NYC.
Those $3,000 went to toward raising money for clean water for kids in third-world countries. For the NYC Marathon, Bauman would be trying to find people willing to sponsor children — a $39 commitment each month for as long as they’re willing to give it to sponsor a kid that provides them with clean water and an education.
“I thought it’s a great way to run your first marathon, and if you’re gonna run one, that’s a great one to run,” Bauman said. “It was taking another step of faith and trying to get kids sponsored. That can be hard to get people committed, it was definitely a step out on the limb, step out on faith, and I went for it.”
Her goal was to get 10 kids sponsored. So far, Bauman has eight kids sponsored and still has until Dec. 7 to try to get two more.
“It’s more than I imagined I would get,” she said. “You’re not asking people to give $20, you’re asking them to give $39 a month for as long as they’re willing to give it for these kids.”
World Vision provided Bauman with an 18-week training plan prior to her first marathon. Bauman said she did a lot of her training in Brownstown, and she said the hills helped prepare her for some of the bridges she encountered in the Big Apple.
When she got to the starting line in NYC, she was grouped with some other people from World Vision, and she and a woman named Casey McCann decided to run the marathon together with a “9-1” plan, which is run nine minutes and walk for one minute.
Bauman admitted there were multiple points where the doubt can creep in during a marathon.
Around mile eight, Bauman saw her husband and daughter, which gave her motivation to keep going. At mile 16, her parents were there. Around mile 19.5, her right Achilles started to hurt, and her husband and daughter were at the team World Vision tent.
Her 8-year-old daughter took this World Vision flag and waved it in her face and said, “So, Cheryl, how do you feel about your first marathon,” and Bauman replied, “I hope it is over soon.”
But it was the continued support from her family members, and running alongside McCann that kept Bauman going, and and when they got to Central Park with about two miles left, they knew they had it.
“Oh my gosh, I just ran my first marathon,” Bauman said of her thoughts on Nov. 7. “It’s a head game. If you got somebody standing there with you and you got people strategically placed, it helps out.”
Bauman is a Jackson County resident, a 7-year veterinarian in Bedford and a member of the Rockford United Methodist Church in Seymour.
When she was in Goshen College, she went to West Africa and saw kids walking with their parents to get water and saw the poverty. Seeing that is a big reason why Bauman runs for something more than just herself.
“That is my number one priority right there,” she said. “I would’ve crawled across the finish line for the kids. It’s not just moving my feet for myself. It’s moving my feet so that kids don’t have to continue walking to get water. When I think about that, it just gives you more motivation to keep going.”
The eight sponsorships she has gotten so far doesn’t just help out eight children, it can affect up to 32 kids. That $39 a month is a lot of money in third-world countries, so it gets distributed among a community.
Bauman has been sponsoring two kids for quite some time now. One is in Bolivia, and not only is he going to school, but his littler sister gets to go to school, too. The other one is in Peru, and her siblings are also provided with food, water and an education.
“Affecting two kids by sponsoring one, so that’s just amazing,” Bauman said. “This is my way that I can take my love for missions and love for running and put it together. World Vision has found a way to make you run for something, and it’s not just yourself.”
If you would like to sponsor a children in need of food, water and education, you can visit this link: https://www.teamworldvision.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=277927