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Fartlek for Africa



Blood:Water is inspired daily by its awesome fundraisers who creatively use their ideas and originality to change lives in Africa. Brad Zinnecker is no exception. As a long-time, long-distance runner from Iowa, Brad knows that running for a cause and supporting something bigger than himself helps him remain focused. That’s why in 2015, when he set a goal to run 1,200 miles in one year, he did it in an effort to raise awareness and funds for Blood:Water.

When Brad began his journey to 1,200 miles, he decided to dub it his “Fartlek for Africa.” The word fartlek is Swedish for “speedplay,” and is commonly used in the running world to describe a run that is paced at several different times over various lengths and terrain.


The biggest challenge during his fartlek was to keep going and make time to reach the miles. Because most of his miles were logged outside, continuing to run even during the winter months proved to be difficult. But the cold couldn’t stop him; Brad achieved his fourth-highest mileage month in December 2015.

By the end of the year, Brad had run in seven different states (five in which he raced) including Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and Wisconsin. The distances he ran ranged anywhere from just over a mile at an open meet against his son’s cross-country team, to a personal record at a 50K race in Wisconsin. By the end of the year, he reached his goal of running 1,200 miles and raised over $2,000 for Blood:Water in the process!


Brad attributes all of his success, including the races he ran and miles he logged, to God, his Ultimate Supporter through it all. He says:

Running is a lot like life. There are moments of awesomeness and moments of great beauty, but a lot of the moments are just placing one foot in front of the other and getting it done… You must keep your head in the game, trust God, and keep going forward even when the future, whether during the run or in life, seems a scary far distance and heartache away.

Brad, thank you for pressing forward on behalf of our friends in Africa. We are in awe of your accomplishment and your desire to serve in such a selfless way. Congratulations on 1,200 miles!

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