Relay raises funds for Haven of Hope
By Sherry Missler
Times Bulletin Editor
VAN WERT—Mission accomplished. Shane Leeth completed the Haven of Hope 4x4x48 relay on Sunday afternoon.
Leeth said he felt “pretty good” at the end of the stint. He added, however: “The heat yesterday affected me a bit, made a few races quite difficult.” He noted that about seven or eight people ran part of the relay with him at different times. “I raced with a few people I had never raced with before, so it was fun,” he said. He said having someone to run with helps. “At 10 p.m. last night, the 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. races, the guys came and ran with me just to keep me busy, to give me someone to talk to because by then I was tired,” did he declare.
Sleep is one of the challenges Leeth faces during this event. “I get about an hour to an hour and a half, maybe two hours max between different runs,” he said. He said that once he finished a run, he went home, took a shower, lay on the couch and slept for 30 to 40 minutes before his next run. Other challenges Leeth said he faced during the 48 hours were making sure he had clothes and shoes available and eating the right foods. “I try to stay away from anything spicy. I eat mostly mashed potatoes. I had pancakes this morning at Bistro,” he said. He added : “I crossed the water like a madman.”
Leeth said he was pleased the weather had moderated from the extreme heat and humidity earlier in the week. “If we had had the 90 degree days I could have done some runs, but I don’t think I could have done the 12.” He added: “It was hot in the afternoon, but it was still doable.”
Jamie Ramos, executive director, said that in addition to depositing checks, people were making donations online. She added that anyone who donated $48 could still receive a t-shirt, until they ran out. Ramos thanked Leeth for his efforts. “We had such an outpouring from the community,” she said. She explained, “We are a permanent mission and we rely on the community. We’re not asking for funding that doesn’t match what we think,” she said. The group accepts funding from United Way and the Foundation, among others, but not from those who would tell them how to run the facility.
Ramos said they are trying to keep expenses, such as payroll, to a minimum. “We have to be staffed whenever people are here,” she said. “We want to grow, we want to pay down our debt and we want to do more at some point.” She added that for now, “we’re just doing what we can when we can. But our goal is to help everyone. She said she was already concerned about the heat and humidity forecast for this week. “We’re going to rely on people to volunteer their time to keep us open,” she said. “We just don’t have an everyday option, but we manage when the weather is bad. We’re doing our best and that’s all we can do. Haven of Hope has raised over $8,000 so far through the event.
Leeth is already thinking about next year. “My wife and I were talking about it and maybe doing it together next year.” He said they’ve done some of these challenges before, but never the 48-hour ones. He also said they were considering moving the date forward. “Looking at our calendar, in the month of April we might find a weekend where we could do it,” he said. “It could be ideal because the temperatures could be a little better. Now is not the time to organize an event like this. Leeth knows the importance of the weather in planning a race. He said he typically runs between 50 and 60 miles a week.
In fact, Leeth said the relay was part of his training for an upcoming event in Indiana — the 2022 Indiana Trail 100. ,” he said. “I did their 50-mile race last year. I really enjoyed doing it last year, so this year I signed up for the 100 miles.” He said he hopes to finish the race in less than 24 hours.