04/30/2012 06:51AM ● Published by Style
Photos by Dante Fontana, © Style Media Group.
Erika Small isn’t your average soccer mom.
Five years ago, while still raising her two kids, Small began waking up at 4 a.m. to run. “I ran my first marathon two years ago,” she recalls. “Then I did a 50K, then a 64 miler . . . then I ran 100 miles.” Now an avid member of the “ultra” running community, Small has turned her part-time hobby into a full-time job. After getting involved with Be Change (bechange.cc), a Sacramento-area organization that advocates for better health care at inner-city schools, Small founded Run It Forward (runitforward.cc), a local nonprofit that sponsors runs and provides health education and resources for children in need.
Beginning May 15, Run It Forward, in partnership with Be Change and Giving Smiles (an organization that provides free dental care to underprivileged children), will hold an 18-day marathon along historic Route 66, in order to raise awareness about children’s health. They’ll stop at schools all along the way – hosting runs and helping children get food and health care. Although Small plans to sponsor many more future events, she is humble about her success. “I’m just a soccer mom with an idea,” she explains. Where did Small get the idea? She answers: “While I was running!”
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