Finding Your Feet
Racine, WI (November 6, 2017)
Nine years ago, after completing the Chicago Marathon, Richard Sosa decided to take 6 months off from running. His body was feeling the effects of years of endurance running and racing. Even waking up was a chore due to the painful plantar fasciitis in both feet. “I was resigned to live a life without running. It was a huge part of my life for many years but now I had other things that had allowed me to put running lower on the priority list. I was ok with the idea of never running again.“ Sosa's six month break from running slowly turned into years of inactivity and failed attempts to run again.
8 years later and a complete career change from corporate marketing to full-time church ministry, Sosa found himself on the streets, literally. During one of his campaigns to raise awareness and funds for the homeless in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Sosa voluntarily went homeless for what he called “A Week on the Street”. During the week, Sosa and his worn feet lived and walked on the streets of Kenosha, only relying on the charity of strangers for food and shelter. Over the course of the week, he logged over 70 miles, walking from shelter to shelter, and visiting churches and libraries to stay warm. “I remember asking myself ‘how I would be able to do this with the condition my feet were in?’ but I just offered it up.” When Sosa arrived home at the end of the week, he was hungry, tired and sore but something peculiar happened. “I remember coming home and lying in bed and realizing that my feet no longer hurt. The pain that I had off and on for the last 8 years had completely left. No longer did it hurt to walk, to get up in the morning. I owed this healing to God. For me it was miraculous. There is no other explanation.”
But these events didn’t result in Sosa returning to a life of running. It wasn’t until March of 2017 that he decided to commit to a fall marathon. “My mind and body felt like they were ready to get back into running. Even though I had gained 30lbs, I knew that my feet were not going to be an issue anymore. The healing I received was real and now I just had to concentrate on improving the discipline of my mind, body and spirit.’ When he began this journey back to the marathon, Sosa could not run a block without stopping to walk. Every day he’d go out for his mile run only to find himself walking more than half of it. Then in April, while visiting New York City, Sosa came down with pneumonia and stayed a night in the hospital. “It felt like a major blow to my plans to run a fall marathon. With pneumonia, I knew I would have to give running a break for a little while. But I just said ‘Jesus, I trust in you. Whatever your will is, I accept.’
After being cleared to run by his doctor, Sosa resumed his training, increasing his mileage little by little. With the help of Andrew Krzeptowski, a fitness trainer and fellow worship leader at Sosa’s church, St. Anne Catholic Church in Pleasant Prairie, Sosa began to shed his extra weight. Twenty-seven lbs later and completion of the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon, Sosa’s journey back to running had come full circle. “God is so faithful. He is my strength and my compass. This journey back probably has been the most meaningful of my entire running life because it was a partnership; God and me. I relied on Him for everything, for strength when I felt week, for patience when I didn’t seem to be improving at the rate I thought I should be, for fortitude to see past the moment and look to the bigger picture, for desire when I would become lazy. He is the reason why I was able to make it back. Its important for me to tell people about this journey of mine because I think it shows how loving and faithful a Father we have. He is always rooting for you. He knows you are more capable than you ever thought you were. So really, my witness here isn’t about running or even about me. It’s about faithfulness; God’s faithfulness and it is something that He has for each and everyone of us.”
VIA DOLOROSA TRAIL MARATHON
Sosa’s love for God and running has continued to take on a new direction with the launching of Wisconsin’s newest Marathon, The Via Dolorosa Trail Marathon, which will take place on March 24, 2018 at Holy Hill Marian Shrine of Mary. Sosa is the Executive Race Director and creator of this new event which is sure to draw many marathoners to the area to kickoff Holy Week. “I can’t think of a better way to kickoff the most significant week of the year for Christians. Our hope is that this race feels just as much like a pilgrimage as it is a marathon.” Sosa’s company, Ten Ten Adventures LLC has partnered with the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and Holy Hill to put on this unique event.
The field is limited to 250 runners so runners are encouraged to register early by visiting http://www.run1010.com.
Some unique race highlights are:
• Pre-race Mass at 6am at the Holy Hill Basilica
• Individual registration and “Jesus and Simon” two member team registration
• 14 “Stations” commemorating the Lord’s Passion throughout the 26.2 mile course
• 1633 feet of elevation gain
• Commemorative wooden finisher medals
• Custom Race Shirts
• Sacred Music along various parts of the course and at the Start and Finish.
• Chili and Hot Cocoa for all racers at finish
If your church or parish is interested in volunteering to create a station, you are asked to contact Richard Sosa at RUN1010adventures@gmail.com. Sponsorship opportunities are available at different price points. Contact Sosa for sponsorship package. For more information visit About Ten Ten Adventures LLC Ten Ten Adventures LLC believes in Jesus' words in John 10:10 that he came to bring life—and “life to the full.” We believe going outside and experiencing God's awesome creation through running, hiking and other adventures is one of the best ways to experience God Himself. Ten Ten is dedicated to creating events that are physically challenging, spiritually enriching and set apart from the world. Contact: Richard Sosa, Race Organizer,