During the 2011 fire season, Shaun spent a lot of time thinking about how to effectively fund raise money for his endeavors in Rwanda. He realized that folks who accomplish tough physical feats often portray to people their passion for a cause, thus raising more money. He decided to walk from San Luis Obispo to San Francisco in a weeks time. Claire and Ben (see runners) made rash and not-thought-out decisions to join Shaun on the journey. The walk was more challenging than they could have expected, but they did the entire thing as they had promised. The walk raised more money than Shaun had ever raised before amounting to over $6,000.
The next fire season, many people showed interest in participating in something again for the cause. Therefore, in 2012 Shaun and over 25 others completed a running relay from San Luis Obispo to San Francisco. Some ran half marathons, full marathons, or even multiple marathons. The event was challenged by thunderstorms, flooding, road closures, and even loose charging dogs, but everyone accomplished what they had promised. Over $11,000 was raised, and a matching donor added another $10,000 which brought the total to $21,000.
From there, Run the 1 has continued strong for six years now. There have been slight differences each year with fundraising goals and running destinations but the participants have always continued their support of the street kids in Rwanda, and their love of running together through Big Sur. The event consistently runs north to south now, ending in San Luis Obispo County.
Run the 1 is a very grassroots event with very humble beginnings. Their idea is to communicate their passion for the street children of Rwanda, enjoy the place they live with those closest to them, and to accomplish those things with as few words as possible. Let action speak the loudest.