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The Virginian - Pilot (Norfolk, VA.)


I love a good race! I can't even count how many races I've run in Virginia Beach over the years.

I'm highly competitive. It's all about the finishing time and beating my personal record.

I've recently come across a race titled "White House 2 White House." The presidential name caught my attention. The clever namesake describes the route, which starts from the Jim White Fitness & Nutrition Studio in Virginia Beach (Jim White's house) to the official White House.

This race is different because the goal is not about a competitive speed. Instead, it's a relay to end homelessness. In its third year, the run takes place during National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.

On Nov. 12, twelve designated relay runners will depart from the Jim White Fitness & Nutrition Studio (Great Neck location) and trek 220 miles to the White House. Each runner will run roughly 20 miles, while rotating in 5 mile increments.

They will continue through the night and arrive the following afternoon at Central Union Mission shelter in Washington, D.C. The participants will run the last two miles with shelter residents and volunteers until they arrive at their final destination, the White House.

The relay will take about 36 hours and will also include a separate motorcade of volunteers that will be distributing care packages to homeless shelters along the route.

"Sometimes when we are running this long distance on the streets of America, we sort of feel like Forrest Gump," said Jim White. "It's challenging but the cause pushes us to something higher then us." Jim said funds raised through the relay will go to support the Lift Fitness Foundation, a nonprofit he started to support homeless shelters with their mission of creating a foundation of wellness to empower individuals in need.

This year's goal is to raise $30,000.

If you want to be a part of this local group effort to help end homelessness, put on your running shoes and join in on the send-off run on Nov. 12 at 7 a.m. at the Jim White Fitness Studio on Great Neck Road. The White House 2 White House "LIFT-off" runners will start the relay with the designated relay team and run to the Lesner Bridge and back (3 miles).

The send-off runners will have a minimum fundraising goal of $150 and will receive a T-shirt, medal and post-run treats. Call 757-422-4728 or go to for more info.

If you're not a runner, no worries. You can donate by going to You can also drop off toiletries at any of the Jim White Fitness & Nutrition Studios during the business hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

I'm hoping to clear my schedule to participate. If I can, I won't be worrying about my personal time. I'll be racing to help end homelessness. I would sure love to make that worthy cause my personal record. This far more important goal could be achieved in a speedier fashion if we all joined in and made it a group personal record.

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November 5, 2017


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