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Local Runner Will Celebrate 50th With Long Run to Fight Human Trafficking

by | Sep 4, 2018 | Bottom Left Box, Distinguished Davidsonians, News

Robert Alexander


Turning 50 is a big deal. That huge, round number carries more psychological weight than other numbered birthdays through the years. Consequently, many people make an extra effort to throw a bigger-than-usual party.

Robert Alexander, an associate pastor at Davidson College Presbyterian Church, turns 50 at the end of September, and wanted to celebrate with an occasion both memorable and worthy. “If I was going to run that far I wanted it to have a deeper meaning,” he said. So, Robert decided to mark his 50th with a 50-mile run and raising $50,000 for a good cause.

As the father of three teenage girls, he has been disappointed to learn that North Carolina ranks among the worst states in the nation for human trafficking. He decided to donate the proceeds of his effort to Lily Pad Haven, a Charlotte-based non-profit dedicated to helping survivors of human trafficking transition back into society. With that in mind, he has appropriately named his effort “50 for Freedom.”

Robert plans to lace up his sneakers for an 8 a.m. start on Saturday, September 29, on the Village Green. He won’t stop until he’s made ten circuits of a five-mile loop around town. That conclusion will kick off a celebration of the achievement with food, drinks and music, starting around 6 p.m. on the Town Green.

Robert began running recreationally in high school, and at age 30, he achieved his goal of running a marathon. He has run eight more marathons since then and looks forward to upping his game with this ultra-marathon, 50th birthday run. He’s training with runs of various lengths six or seven days a week and is planning to do a 30-mile run next weekend. Then, he’ll taper down to lesser distances, so he can be at full strength for the 50.

Since he wants to make it a team achievement, Robert is inviting people to join in. Here are ways you can help him and Lily Pad Haven…

Find Out More About Robert and his running at his blog:

  • Run a lap with him: Click here for the Sign-up Genius to join him on one of his five-mile loops. In addition to running partners, bikers and walkers are invited to join him as well.
  • Donate to Lily Pad Haven: Click here to make a donation using PayPal. Representatives of Lily Pad will be on hand at the Village Green to raise awareness about their cause.
  • Tell friends about the event: To raise awareness of the problem of human trafficking, visit his Facebook page , read his blog, and like his posts.
  • Help on the day of the run: Email volunteer coordinator Linda Griffeth at [email protected] to sign up to help with set-up on the Town Green and run logistics.


Bill Giduz

Bill Giduz was the son who followed his father’s footsteps into journalism. He has been involved his entire life with news and photography in schools he attended and jobs he’s held. He believes now that he’s got a few good years left to devote to The News of Davidson.

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