The St. Jude Rock N’ Roll Nashville Half Marathon was set for this weekend (April 25) in Nashville. Because of the Coronavirus, the race was postponed but a local man isn’t letting that stop him from raising money for a good cause.
Derek Spirk is a Spring Hill resident and he’s keeping his commitment to the Frankin-based non-profit, Barefoot Republic, and a group of runners from all over the country. The group of runners, called Team Run Barefoot, are actually the ones who inspired him in the first place.
“I was following an online challenge of runners participating in a 4x4x48 — that’s four miles every four hours for 48 hours. I thought these people had to be nuts. Shortly after, I became one of those nuts,” he says. “None of us were running for ourselves… We were running to raise money to send kids to camp. We were running to provide 200 scholarships to families who would never be able to afford to do this on their own. And now with COVID-19 and more families out of work than ever before, I know the need is going to be greater than when we started so quitting is not an option.”
Spirk got involved with Barefoot Republic through his work with Amy Grant. The organization is a non-profit focused on racial, cultural, and socio-economic diversity amongst their campers. They strive to unite young people from all backgrounds spreading hope, unity and love.
“[Amy Grant] hosts Barefoot Camp for two weeks every summer at her farm in Franklin. It wasn’t until my daughter was old enough to attend camp though that I finally understood it for myself. My daughter blossomed after attending a Barefoot camp and her understanding of who she was and how she could impact the world around her has been astonishing.”
Since he can’t run for them at the St Jude Marathon, Spirk will do so starting on April 24. Anyone that’s interested in joining him can do so virtually during one of the four-hour legs. People will be running, walking and/or biking to raise money.
If you’re interested in learning more, you can do so here. At the time of publication, Spirk had raised more than $15,000.