Mission moves Austin runner
"I'm breathing hard because I'm running," Kelly Nesvold explained when he answered the phone one recent Saturday morning. His wife, Danielle, was running with him, his oldest daughter, Julie, was biking and his youngest, Gina, was in the jogging stroller.
What else would someone attempting to get on the cover of Runner's World magazine do on a Saturday?
The national magazine is looking for "the two most awesome runners in America" to put on its cover, and though Nesvold doesn't consider himself in that league as a runner, he's willing to play the part in order to draw attention to the issue of human sex trafficking.
Not that Nesvold isn't an accomplished runner. Last October, he ran 100 miles from the state Capitol in St. Paul, to Austin to feed starving children in the 100M4Hunger Run.
For that effort, he received sponsorship from Hormel and raised enough money to feed 30,000 children. Eight pacers took turns running with him.
"You know we have to do this again, right?" Nesvold recalled saying to Danielle after the run. "She said, 'Well, if we need to do it again, we need to do it for human trafficking.'"
Then came the Runner's World competition.
"I came across it accidentally," Nesvold said. The magazine is judging entrants by a written entry, submitted photos and online voting, which wraps up on Wednesday. To cast a vote for Nesvold, go to coversearch.runnersworld.com/entry/1225 .
Nesvold is philosophical about his chances.
"If you don't try, how do you know, right?" he said.
There's more to his story.
"In August of 2016, we are attempting a 300-mile triathlon where we will swim five, bike 240 and run 55 to raise awareness for fighting human trafficking," he said. "The event is called 300M4FREEDOM."
A portion of what is raised from the triathlon will go to Mission 21, an anti-trafficking service provider committed to the complete restoration of child victims of sex trafficking.
Right now, Nesvold's plan is to do the 300 mile triathlon without stopping.
Why 300 miles? "I'm from Grand Rapids," he said. "From Grand Rapids to Austin is roughly 300 miles. I was trying to figure out ways to get from there to here that would be fun to do.
"I used to swim competitively growing up," he said. "Biking would be a little easier on a guy than running. We decided to make a larger percentage of our path on bike. Three-hundred miles is still pretty insane."
A friend, Eric Feuchtenberger, has committed to doing the full 300-mile journey with Nesvold.
Training is well underway. Here's one recent report: "The training session went well on Sunday. I swam 2.5 miles without any swim training and biked 112 miles with my longest ride being 60 before that," Nesvold said. "I only ran 2 of the 26.2 due to lower-back spasms and family needs. I need to do a lot more training to be ready for the full 300-mile event but feel good about where I am at right now. I need to bike a lot more, for sure."
To raise awareness — and money — Nesvold is selling shirts and paracord bracelets with a red "X" and a whistle built into them. They can be purchased at his chiropractic office, Wellness 1st Chiropractic, 300 Oakland Ave. W., Austin.