Over the weekend, Oak Park resident Siva Balu ran 100 miles to raise money for Sarah’s Inn, a domestic violence agency located in Forest Park. An astounding feat in and of itself, it’s even more impressive since he did in under 48 hours, which was his goal, and all on a treadmill.
On the morning of Dec. 11, Balu got on a treadmill in the front window of the West Cook YMCA on Marion Street in Oak Park and began to run.
“I wanted to finish a challenging year with a long run,” Balu said in a press release. “Running 100 miles on a treadmill is both mentally and physically a good challenge to take on. I have not run more than 10 miles on a treadmill, so this will be very interesting.”
Balu, a board member of Sarah’s Inn, said he wanted to make running such a long distance “meaningful.” So he decided to do it in support of Sarah’s Inn and bring awareness to domestic violence.
Completing the 100 miles took about 30 hours. He’s raised over $6,000 so far; contributions can be made through the Sarah’s Inn website at sarahsinn.org/donate-now.
Balu said the run was more difficult than he thought it would be, but remembering his mission helped him persevere.
“I underestimated how hard it can be mentally to run 100 miles on a treadmill,” Balu said after he’d finished. “Every time I hit a low point, physically or emotionally, the thought of supporting Sarah’s Inn and victims of domestic violence gave me a boost of energy and kept me going. A huge thanks to Sarah’s Inn, West Cook YMCA and all the supporters who donated, helped, stopped by to wave and sent encouraging messages virtually.”
The mission of Sarah’s Inn is “to improve the lives of those affected by domestic violence and to break the cycle of violence for future generations.” Their services include crisis intervention, community education and violence prevention programs for youth.
According to the Sarah’s Inn website, last year the organization provided services to over 25,000 women, men, children and families. Sarah’s Inn is in its 40th year of service.