Austin chiropractor making strides in goal to run to raise $25,000 for children
Published 10:40 am Thursday, July 3, 2014
After Kelly Nesvold finished a 50-kilometer run in Duluth and even met his goal by finishing 25th out of 100-plus racers, the feeling wasn’t what he expected.
Something was missing.
“I came to realize I was kind of just fulfilling self-centered needs,” said Kelly, owner of Wellness 1st Chiropractic in Austin.
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Soon after the race, a number came to Kelly’s mind for his next running goal, but more importantly, he had a different purpose in mind: to run 100 miles to raise $25,000 to buy 100,000 meals for children in a project he’s calling 100M4HUNGER.
Kelly shared his idea with his wife, Danielle, and friends, and now they’re looking to make it a reality. The money will go directly to Convoy of Hope, a faith-based nonprofit that does disaster relief, inner city work and children’s hunger initiatives, which feed more than 145,000 children in 11 countries.
Kelly plans to start at the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol and run to the parking lot of Austin’s Cornerstone Church, 1403 First Ave. SW, in 24 hours on Oct. 11 and 12. He’ll run through the night, and at least eight pacers are lined up to run with and help keep Kelly going, especially as fatigue and sleep deprivation set in.
“We’re praying and hoping for success,” Kelly said. “The bigger picture is making sure we get kids some food. Feeding children is what it’s about. The running is just a way to raise awareness.”
‘I know he can finish’
Kelly started running a few years ago with Team Uppercut, a men’s fitness and spiritual wellness group at Cornerstone Church. The group trained for the Tough Mudder, then a run in Faribault, and then Kelly and a friend ran the 50-kilometer race near Duluth.
When Kelly brought his idea to Danielle, she was supportive, even though the run and training represents a significant time commitment. Kelly, Danielle and their three children — Sam, 14; Julie, 9; and Gina, 2 — must plan much of their summer around training.
“I think every weekend is absorbed by his long runs and allowing his body to recover,” Danielle said.
But the family is behind the push: Sam is watching his sisters so Kelly can train, Julie is looking for ways to fundraise and Danielle plans to run as a pacer for part of the October run. Danielle is confident her husband will succeed.
“I know he can finish,” she said.
Danielle described her husband as a quietly passionate, humble and compassionate person with a knack for reading people, adding he married his opposite as she’s more loud and boisterous.
Danielle is proud her husband is setting an example for their children by what she called a selfless act to help others. But it’s not all easy. It was difficult for Danielle to see Kelly exhausted during the final stretch of the Duluth race, and the 100-mile run will be no different.
“I’ve got to mentally prepare myself,” Danielle said.
Kelly has plenty of help as he prepares for the run. Along with his family, Cornerstone Church, Hormel Foods Corp., and several others are working with Kelly to meet his goal of raising $25,000. Kelly and 100M4HUNGER supporters will walk in the Freedom Fest parade and will sell T-shirts at Bandshell Community Park during the holiday festivities.
Kelly is seeking business sponsorships. For $150, businesses can become sponsors, buy about 600 meals and have their logo featured on the 100M4HUNGER website, www.100m4hunger.com.
Hormel is filming Kelly as he trains, and may use the footage as a type of documentary to promote the REV wrap line.
Aaron Broberg, the next generation pastor at Cornerstone, has taken on some of the behind the scenes duties to help Nesvold focus on running. Broberg, who often runs with Kelly, plans to be one of the pace runners.
They’re already well on their way to $25,000, as they’ve brought in $575 in donations on the website, along with another significant donation, and Broberg wouldn’t be surprised if they exceed their goal.
“Everybody can get behind feeding a kid,” he said.
Broberg said Kelly felt a divine inspiration to make the run, and he said his role as a friend and pastor is to help meet that goal.
“I really felt like it was divine inspiration in God speaking to Kelly,” Broberg said.
Kelly is training and is averaging about 40 miles a week.
“Thirty-one miles is the farthest I’ve ever ran, so it’s going to be a journey,” Kelly said.
Kelly continues to train with a group of friends. The group has run to Albert Lea, Adams, Blooming Prairie and Hayfield, and a few were night runs, which Danielle is no longer keen on. After an animal ran out at Kelly during a night run, she banned her husband from running at night — unless he’s in a big group.
“No more running at night because then I can’t sleep,” she said with a laugh.
After a bout of tendinitis, Kelly started crossfit at Total Fitness, which will help strengthen his core and hips.
“That will play a huge role in my ability to sustain running for longer periods of time,” he said.
Kelly’s longest runs typically fall on Saturdays and Sundays, and Kelly plans to run 24 miles this Saturday — his longest run of the year.
On the Friday of Labor Day weekend, Kelly plans to complete his longest practice run, a 50-mile trek starting around 7 p.m. to run through the night to simulate running at night with no sleep. He also plans to find ways to simulate fatigue, like working out on a StairMaster at the gym and then going for a run.
For Kelly, the battle is as much mental as it is physical.
“Once you can run 10 miles pretty comfortably, everything after that pretty much becomes fuel — putting the right nutrients into your body continually while you run to keep your body going — and then it becomes mental: whether you can will yourself to continue to move forward after you get fatigued and exhausted,” Kelly said.
Kelly is refining his diet and sticking with as many fruits and vegetables as possible, though he admits he’s not perfect in his diet. He’ll also take fish oil, vitamins and supplements to help his body recover and to relieve joint pain.
During the October run, Kelly will eat 300 calories every hour. He’ll eat REV wraps provided by Hormel and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, along with electrolyte drinks and sodium-rich foods.
Kacy VanderHorst, the brand manager for Hormel’s REV wrap line, said the company was pleased to get behind Kelly after hearing his story.
“We are so honored to be a part of his journey,” she wrote in an email to the Herald. “We are truly inspired by his passion to push himself to his greatest limits for such a charitable cause, and we wish Kelly the best of luck in completing his goal.”
REV wraps provide at least 14 grams of protein, which VanderHorst said will provide sustainably energy to help fuel Kelly on his run.
Kelly knows he faces a steep challenge to meet his goals and admitted many people don’t succeed in their first attempt to run 100 miles, but he’s still determined.
“If all we raise is $10,000 that’s still something, that’s still worthwhile, but I think we’ll hit $25,000,” he said.
Kelly admitted people have referred to him by referencing “Forrest Gump” and the famous running scene, and he’s embraced the comparison in pictures on Facebook. And yes, people have told Kelly he’s crazy for his plan to run 100 miles.
“People tell me I’m crazy all the time,” Kelly said. “If I am, so be it. I guess I’d rather be crazy and trying to make an impact than be so-called normal and sit at home and watch the world go by.”