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Life Runners

Life Runners bring relay to Sioux City

By JOANNE FOX, Globe editor
(Email Joanne)

When members of Life Runners ultimately complete their race, the finish line they will cross is one that ends abortion.

Life Runners’ A-Cross America Relay – the largest pro-life relay in the world – which runs from the Golden Gate and Brooklyn Bridges, during the 40 Days for Life (March 5-April 13) will visit Sioux City on April 11.

Paula Parmelee, a parishioner at St. Joseph Church, Elk Point, S.D., became a Life Runner several years ago and has actively participated in group events recently.

“I was looking for a way to combine my running with my desire to actively help to end abortion and protect children in the womb who are in danger of abortion,” she said. “I bought the T-shirt, which says ‘Remember the Unborn,’ and wore it in public as a witness to our unborn brothers and sisters. This is the main requirement of being a Life Runner. By wearing our shirts we are a witness to life.”

From Oct. 4-6, 2013, Parmelee went on a bus trip to the Black Hills with the national Life Runners, the action arm of Life Group, Inc., only to have the event cut short by an epic blizzard.

“God had plans for us that did not involve running a marathon and we quickly found ourselves immersed in a weekend faith retreat,” she said.

Parmelee termed the change in plans, “a life-changer” for her.

“Had the blizzard not occurred during the very weekend we planned our run, had I not signed up for it, had I not gotten on that bus, then I never would have had the opportunity to develop the unique relationships with the national Life Runners teammates that this change precipitated,” she said.

Life Runners pray, fundraise and run/walk as a team to promote their mission of “All in Christ for Pro-Life!”

Although being a “runner” is not a requirement to join the organization, Parmelee actually was a runner.

“I have mostly run in 5K road races and for exercise,” she said. “I did not run in high school but my father and John Seymour had a track club, Sioux Valley Track Team, and I participated in that on the weekends. I also was a competitive swimmer for the Mariners, so I've been around sports my whole life.”

However, Parmelee emphasized that anyone can be affiliated with Life Runners.

“We need runners, walkers, support people, sponsors and prayer partners,” she said. “We always welcome new members of all ages and abilities.”

Life Runners’ designated national beneficiary for this year's A-Cross America Relay is an organization called Save the Storks, Parmelee reported.

“I had an opportunity to meet the founders during the Rapid City blizzard,” she said. “We will be blessed to have one of the mobile Save the Storks’ bus units at our Mary's Choice prayer rally on April 11.”

Parmelee characterized the best part of being associated with Life Runners as knowing this group is raising awareness about that 54 million lives lost to abortion since 1973.

“I can make a difference to help mothers choose life for their pre-born children,” she said.

Those interested in joining Life Runners can visit liferunners.org and fill out the application form. Once the application is completed, a “welcome” email will be sent from a local chapter leader.

Parmelee is the Sioux City Life Runners Chapter Leader and can answer questions. Call her at (712) 635-6196 or (605) 761-0122 or email her at paularose4life@yahoo.com.

If you go

What: A-Cross America Relay
Who: Life Runners
Date: April 11
Noon – Meet at Mary’s Choice Pregnancy Resource Center, 4415 Stone Ave., Sioux City and welcome relay runner.
12:15 p.m. Pray Life Runners Creed (liferunners.org/creed)
12:20 p.m. Pass the baton to the next Life Runner
12:40 p.m. Meet at Cathedral of the Epiphany with Father William Vit Jr., Life Runner chaplain
12:45 p.m. Proceed to the Sioux City Diocese Central Catholic Offices, 1821 Jackson St.

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