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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Nation/World

Former Pastor Runs Across America

On Monday, Steve Spear began his trek across the U.S. to raise money for his fundraiser, "Running for Water."

Steve Spear embarked on a 3,000-mile run on Monday from Los Angeles to New York in his fundraiser "Running for Water."

The former Chicago pastor is running in order to raise enough funds to provide clean water for a Kenyan village.

One of Spear's good friends, Paul Jansen van Renseurg, first began running with Spear in 2007 when they trained for the Chicago Marathon. Then in 2009, the pair ran the Comrades Marathon, a 56-mile race, in South Africa.

Paul Jansen van Renseurg and Steve Spear at the Comrades Marathon (RunningForWater.com)
Paul Jansen van Renseurg and Steve Spear at the Comrades Marathon (RunningForWater.com)

On his website he said that he was opposed to the idea of running the Comrades Marathon.

But then he changed his mind, "I was challenged to invite God into my fears and move past them."

According to Jansen van Renseurg, the "Running for Water" cause is the driving force in his trek across the United States.

"He actually hates running, but he feels compelled to do this because of the cause," said Jansen van Renseurg. "He does this to save lives in Africa."

Since it only costs $50 for a single person to have clean water, his goal is to raise $1.5 million, providing a lifetime supply of clean water for about 30,000 people.

Spear's run began at 8 a.m. Monday morning at the Santa Monica Pier and he plans to travel through California until day 10.

According to his route, he should arrive in Arizona by week three, Texas midway through week seven, and Missouri by the end of week 10.

The 49-year-old runner plans to arrive in New York in four to five months time, running about a marathon a day. He will also be speaking at churches and civic organizations along his route to encourage people to make a difference.

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