There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story
My name is Kevin Hircock. I am the founder of Team RunFree and currently serve as the program director. Team RunFree officially began in 2016, but our story reaches back a few years. In 2010, after many years of being overweight and out of shape, I knew it was time to make some big changes. A healthy lifestyle change and many dropped pounds later, I reached my goal. A new world of activity opened up, and that included running. 5K and 10K races, plus half and full marathons became a regular part of my world.
It was fun to share these adventures with family and friends, yet I wanted more. I often thought about running with those who were physically disabled. They would sit in a special needs run cart and I would push them in races. . . it would be that simple. But deep down, I realized that I really just wanted to be seen doing a good deed. My heart really didn’t lean towards those who would most benefit from this. I didn’t like that, and I quickly pushed the idea away.
A couple years later, I narrowly avoided a head-on collision on the highway. What stayed with me long after the fear and ‘what if’ faded was the reality that there were things which God still wanted me to do. The adaptive running idea kept coming up in my quiet moments, but I kept pushing it away. Eventually I knew it was time to use my passion and abilities to make a difference for others – for all the right reasons. My heart was now fully devoted to these great people who could not run – but would if they could.
Fast forward to 2015 – Team RunFree was ready to enjoy what had begun 5 years earlier. We first operated as a program of Courage League Sports in Urbandale, Iowa. It was a GREAT year, and we teamed up with many young people for 5K races and local trail runs. As the running season wrapped up, I sensed a very distinct call to step out in faith and set up Team RunFree as a non-profit organization. The expanded opportunities it would offer were pretty exciting.
In 2016, the dream became a reality. It was exciting to get to know these special young athletes and their families – and then go run with them. It was a fantastic year which brought us many races, trail runs, adventures and friendships. Each year is a new chapter, and this story is just getting started.
Running is a great activity. When shared with others, it’s even better. When shared with those who cannot run on their own – well, that’s when the magic happens.