A finish line in sight; Gov. Dayton declares Saturday 100M4HUNGER Day in honor of Nesvold’s run

Published 10:08 am Friday, October 10, 2014

Kelly Nesvold, right, with a group of support runners heads south on Highway 218 toward Austin this past August during a 50-mile test run. Herald file photo

Kelly Nesvold, right, with a group of support runners heads south on Highway 218 toward Austin this past August during a 50-mile test run. Herald file photo

Saturday is going to be a big day for Kelly Nesvold and his 100M4HUNGER mission to raise $25,000 to send meals to children in 11 countries. Thanks to Gov. Mark Dayton, it’s going to be a big day for all Minnesota too.

After months of training, fundraising and preparations, Nesvold will set off from the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol Saturday morning to run about 100 miles to Cornerstone Church in Austin, 1403 First Ave. SW. To honor the day, Dayton signed a proclamation declaring Saturday 100M4HUNGER Day in Minnesota.

Nesvold already met one big goal recently: He’s already surpassed his fundraising goal and has brought in more than $27,000 to fight hunger. The money will go to charity Convoy of Hope, a faith-based nonprofit that does disaster relief in 11 countries, to fund more than 100,000 meals for children. He was thankful for the support he received from his family, Cornerstone Church and the community.

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“We’ve reached and exceeded the goal,” Nesvold said. “Everyone around me has stepped up and done their part and then some.”

It’s been a busy year for Kelly Nesvold. Since February, he’s ran more than 900 miles. If meets his 100-mile goal over the weekend, that will make for 1,000-plus miles.

“It’s hands down the most running I’ve ever done in a year by far,” he said.

But that goal won’t be easy, as all the running has taken its toll. Nesvold finished a successful 50-mile test run on Aug. 30.

“I felt real great after that,” he said.

At least he did at first. A few days after the run, Nesvold felt pain in his foot. When he tried going for a light 10-mile run a few days later, the pain increased. The injury has nagged him since, and he’s only been able to run sporadically, leading him to focus much of his training on stationary bikes and other machines at Total Gym and the YMCA.

“I’m expecting most of the run to be fairly uncomfortable,” Nesvold said.

One person gave Nesvold crutches, and Cornerstone’s Aaron Broberg has them in his office and plans to take them along as a worst-case scenario.

“He’s determined to finish, and we’re really trying to stay away from that,” Broberg said.

Broberg, the next generation pastor at Cornerstone, said they’re relying on their faith, praying for God to keep Nesvold healthy and safe along the run.

Broberg will serve as the road crew for Nesvold and the eight pacer runners. The group is allowing for plenty of time to finish the run. They’re aiming for about a 27-hour run, hoping to leave the Capitol at around 6 a.m. Saturday before arriving at Cornerstone between 9 a.m. and noon Sunday.

To Nesvold, it’s important to push through the pain since the children he’s running to help face bigger challenges and experience pain each day. He also wants to show his children —  Sam, 14; Julie, 9; and Gina, 2 — that they can accomplish their goals despite adversity.

“It’s important for me to show my children that we can persevere and push through pain,” he said.

Nesvold was thankful for the support he’s gotten his wife, Danielle, who he called his biggest supporter, and his children.

”They’ve gone out of their way to do their part time and time again,” he said of his kids.

The experience has helped change Nesvold’s outlook. Before he started 100M4HUNGER, he admitted to having a negative view of humanity today, feeling like people are more or less out for themselves. This project has helped him realize there are many helpful and “wonderful heartwarming people.”

To donate or view more details about Nesvold’s route from St. Paul to Austin, visit www.100m4hunger.com. On Saturday and Sunday, Broberg will post updates to www.facebook.com/100m4hunger. For much of the trip, Broberg and Nesvold plan to use a Glympse app to track their progress, which will be embedded on the Facebook page.