Seymour women run Chicago Marathon for Team World Vision

Chrissy Hubers and Annie Ferret have both run marathons in the past.

Hubers ran the Monumental Marathon in Indianapolis in 2019, and Ferret had run the Disney Marathon three times, Philadelphia Marathon, Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C., and the Big Sur International Marathon in California.

But there was something new for each of them when they ran the Chicago Marathon on Oct. 9.

Hubers just went through postpartum after having her 1-year-old son over the past year. Ferret just turned 40 this year, and she hadn’t run a marathon since having her two kids — a 7-year-old and 4-year-old.

At different stages of their lives, it was tough to train. The two began a 26-week training plan in May. They would meet in the parking lot of Seymour High School between 4:30 and 5 a.m. to get their run in before the day starts with their families.

All of the miles, all of the minutes, all of the days, all of the responsibilities, so why now? Hubers and Ferret both strongly believe in the mission of World Vision, which is an organization that provides clean water in the developing world. Since 2011, World Vision has helped establish lasting access to clean water for 28.4 million people.

“The desire to run (the Chicago Marathon) started last year early fall,” Hubers said. “Annie and I both had been running with World Vision for a number of years. We believe in the mission and want to continue to further that through the partnership.”

For Ferret, she couldn’t think of a better way to start her fourth decade.

“I turned 40 this year, and I can’t think of a better way than celebrating that than running the streets of Chicago, doing it with a good friend and doing it for World Vision, which is something we both believe in strongly,” she said.

Hubers got involved with World Vision in 2018 when a representative came to The Point in Seymour. He talked about running coast to coast to raise money for clean water. That inspired Hubers to get started with them.

For Ferret, she was introduced to World Vision in 2019 when they put on the Global 6K at The Point. The idea of the Global 6K is that’s about the number of miles (3.73) many kids and women walk to retrieve water, sometimes doing it multiple times a day.

“During that, it really struck me that there were women like me with kids like mine that were doing this and watching their kids die because they don’t have access to clean water,” Ferret said. “That was a turning point for me. Whatever I could do to help end the global water crisis, I would do it.”

So Ferret and Hubers trained and trained until they were ready to hit the streets of the Windy City.

World Vision is the largest represented charity at the Chicago Marathon. Ferret and Hubers were two of more than 1,600 people donning the World Vision orange shirts on race day.

“That was really inspiring because when you’re out on the course, World Vision is the largest represented charity at the Chicago Marathon, and we all have our orange jerseys, so the whole race, you’re just seeing that World Vision orange,” Hubers said. “We didn’t know any of these people, but they felt like family. That was special to me.”

No marathon is easy. Running 26.2 miles in a single setting has its peaks and valleys, and that’s how it was for Hubers and Ferret.

They said the first 10 miles went great, and then things started to get hard. When things got difficult, they reminded each other why they were doing it, and it kept pushing them forward.

“It’s humbling to be a part of it. I feel thankful that I have been given a body that can move in a way to help others,” Hubers said. “Annie always says we keep moving our feet so these moms across the world, who are the same as us with babies like ours, don’t have to move their feet for dirty water. We do it so other people can have that. That really is what moves us forward. We keep doing it because we know we’re making a difference.”

Making a difference, indeed. World Vision raised more than $3 million in its showing in Chicago. Each runner committed to raising at least $2,000.

They admit there were tears of relief and happiness when they crossed the finish line in 6 hours, 11 minutes.

“It was amazing,” Ferret said. “It was incredible that in a sea of 40,000 runners, you always saw another orange jersey. Chrissy and I had never met any of the teammates before the race, but you just became family. What an absolute privilege of honor to be a part of it.”

Neither Hubers nor Ferret were necessarily runners when they were growing up. Hubers said she ran cross-country in middle school and disliked it. Meanwhile, Ferret played soccer and basketball growing up, and then played soccer at a small college.

Both of them got into running because of what they can accomplish with World Vision.

“It was incredible being in the city,” Hubers said. “There are 45,000 participants in the Chicago Marathon. That was just really cool to be a part of that. You ran through 27 different neighborhoods, which was pretty cool. It was just a constant stream of people.”

She said the Monumental Marathon in Indy has a lot of people, but the crowd at the Chicago Marathon was something she has never seen before.

Ferret felt the same way.

“The great majority of people for one reason or another can’t do things like that. I’m just really struck that I’m 40 and have kids and my body is able to do that,” Ferret said on running another marathon. “I’ve never been a part of a race when people are cheering for you all 26 miles. It was just an awesome experience.”

The Monumental Marathon in Indy is coming up Nov. 5, and Ferret will actually be working the race for World Vision.

They don’t know when they will run another one, but Hubers said whenever the time comes, they will want to continue to help raise money to get clean water in places that desperately need it.

Hubers said World Vision feels that by 2033, all of the communities they’re working with can be reached with clean water.

“It’s a beautiful thing to be a part of,” she said.