The Winter Solstice Run is an all-day ultra-run, starting at sunrise, continuing 40 miles along the beaches, around the many lakes of South Walton, and through Florida state forests until sunset. This is all about fun, adventure and camaraderie – it’s not a race! The Winter Solstice Run's purpose is to raise awareness and funds to support On The Ground’s Project Congo. Project Congo concentrates on gender equality and raising awareness about the key issues faced by coffee farming families in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Initiatives will promote peace and gender equality while highlighting inspirational people and their stories. The work aims to break the chains of poverty and conflict while supporting women empowerment groups in coffee communities of the region. The annual runs have occurred during both the summer and winter solstices, ranging from 30-40 miles during the shortest days and shortest nights of the year. For some this will be their first Solstice Run, and for others it may be their 6th. One thing is for sure; this will be one of the most amazing life experiences you have. Join us and we will make a difference for women in the Democratic Republic of Congo! Distance Options The Run offers four options: 40 miles - The whole shebang. Start at sunrise and finish at sunset! 20 miles - Half-Solstice option: Begin with the team and run the first 20 miles! Relay - You and three others each run a 10 mile leg (4 per team)! The First 10 - Begin with the team and run the first 10 miles! Following the run, join fellow participants in a post-run celebration on the beach and a dip in the ocean during sunset. Where? Santa Rosa Beach, Florida – The Winter Solstice Run begins at sunrise from the westernmost point of Scenic Hwy 30A and continues 40 miles along the beaches, around the many lakes of South Walton, and through Florida state forests, until sunset. Why? The Winter Solstice Run's purpose is to raise awareness and funds for OTG’s Project Congo. Participating runners are asked to raise $1,000 each, although we will not turn anyone away who does not reach the goal (minimum suggested donation of $100). When? The Winter Solstice Run will take place at sunrise, Sunday, December 21, 2014. Participating runners will have approximately 12 hours to finish the 40 miles (minimum pace of about 18 minutes per mile). How much does is cost? There is not a registration fee for The Winter Solstice Run. Instead participating runners are asked to solicit pledges from friends and family to support Project Congo – a goal of $1,000 per runner, but all contributions are welcome. Funds will go directly to OTG’s Project Congo supporting women’s empowerment programs in the eastern region of the DRC. What do I get? The personal gratification of completing a run equivalent to about 1 ½ marathons. What do you win? Personal growth, gratification, and a new group of wild and adventurous running comrades. How do I learn more? After registering you will receive an entire packet about the run details, fundraising and more information about On The Ground and Project Congo. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more and answer any questions. Volunteer If running isn’t your thing, but you want to be involved, sign up for your Winter Solstice Run Volunteer shift: http://ontheground1.volunteerlocal.com/volunteer/?id=6296. If you’re interested in volunteering the entire day, you can! Email email@example.com with inquiries or questions. Alumni Solstice Runner Video: Steven Loudermilk <span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">[video=youtube_share;hCnEeyVENL4]http://youtu.be/hCnEeyVENL4[/video] To learn more about Steven or donate on his behalf, please visit: http://www.razoo.com/story/Steven-Loudermilk-Fundraising-For-2014-Winter-Solstice-Run First-time Runner Video: Casey Tindell-Trejo <span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">[video=youtube_share;9CQJZ4iLOZY]http://youtu.be/9CQJZ4iLOZY[/video] To learn more about Casey or donate on her behalf, please visit: http://www.razoo.com/story/Casey-Tindell-Trejo-Fundraising-For-2014-Winter-Solstice-Run More about Project Congo: Women play a crucial agricultural role in Africa, providing the majority of the labor, but their contributions are often invisible since women are excluded from delivering and selling the crop. These realities are exacerbated by sexual gender-based violence in Kivu used as a tool to destabilize communities. Despite the challenges, female coffee producers in DRC have the perseverance to move forward. Project Congo will provide transformative opportunities to these farmers by introducing practical initiatives supporting women’s empowerment at both farm and cooperative levels. Project Congo will invest farming communities to increase & improve women’s: Access to knowledge and participation in the decision making of the producer organizations. Income by having access to land & becoming direct members of the producer organizations. Income by the establishment of small business beyond coffee. Position in their community by recognizing their role in coffee production. Learn more by visiting www.onthegroundglobal.org & www.wintersolsticerun.org.