April 27, 2013

Statistics given below for each country were provided by:  The Calvary Chapel-Chattanooga, CIA World Factbook and the United Nations Commission on Global Human Trafficking.



  • More than 80,000 Romanian children live in institutions or exist in foster care families?
  • Approximately 9,000 babies are deserted each year in Romania.
  • Romania has a 22 % unemployment rate.
  •  22.2% of the population lives below the poverty line.


  • Zimbabwe loses approximately five million dollars ($5,000,000) daily as a result of governmental corruption.
  • Zimbabwe has the largest shrinking economy outside any war zone.
  • More than seventy (70) children become orphans every day in Zimbabwe.
  • The life expectancy in Zimbabwe is 51.82 years.
  • Unemployment rate is 95 %
  •  68% of the population lives below the poverty line.


  • More than a third of the population of the Dominican Republic lives in abject poverty.
  •  The unemployment rate for 16 to 24 year old individuals is 30.3%.  Total population rate is 14.7%.
  • The infant mortality rate in the DR is 21.3 deaths per 1,000 people.


  • Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world today.   Each year, nearly two million children are exploited in global sex trade. (UNICEF).
  • Estimates indicate that 2.5 million people are forced into sexual exploitation at any given time.
  • The majority of victims are between the ages of 18 and 24.
  • 1.2 million children are trafficked each year.  43% of these children are forced into commercial sexual exploitation of whom 98% are female.
  • The estimated global annual profit from the sex trade is $31.6 billion USD.
  • For every 800 people trafficked, there is only 1 conviction.




Calvary Chapel of Chattanooga, Tennessee has for the past two years sponsored a 5K fun run specifically for the purpose of raising money to support efforts designed to mitigate the conditions you see above.    All of the money raised is directed to institutions dedicated to bringing about lessening of the suffering evident within the countries mentioned, plus helping to solve the huge problem of human trafficking.  This run is called:  FREEDOM RUN.  The banner below announced event.

Freedom Run Banner


This is the second year for the 5K and even though in it’s infancy, the number of participants has grown approximately 25 % from the 2012 initiation.     The number of companies willing to sponsor the event has increased significantly also.   My company jumped at the opportunity to be a sponsor due to the mission and purpose.   The Freedom Run is held at The Lula Lake Land Trust on Lookout Mountain, Georgia.   The course is absolutely one of the most scenic routes in the southeast with breathtaking views of the falls and the valley below.  That will be very evident when we take a look at the JPEGs which follow.

As you might expect, any event such as this requires very careful and continuous planning lasting for months on end.  There are never-ending details to attend to so health, safety and sanitary conditions are met for the runners.  Water stations, port-a-potties, EMTs available just in case injuries occur, nutrients for the runners, i.e. oranges, bananas, nuts, etc etc.  You get the picture.  One of the organizers for this event is Rachel Reeves.   Rachel and her husband Todd are shown below.

Todd and Rachel


You are looking at two of the finest people on the planet.   Extremely well organized and fully equipped to execute an event such as this.  Rachel was a member of the team that worked tirelessly and planned this second year 5K.  She and her team deserve tremendous credit for taking care of the big stuff as well as the ever-present minutia.

I would like to show you the course.  Hopefully, you will agree the scenery is really spectacular.

Rocky Wall


As you can see, the trail is definitely a challenge with rock walls lining the right side of the first mile.   Dirt path all the way.  Please note the jackets most are wearing.  At 0830 hours, the temperature on Lookout Mountain was a very brisk 34 degrees.   It had rained the night before so the paths were soaked and presented an additional challenge.  The course this year was altered somewhat so runners could get a better look at the falls.  You must agree, the view is inspiring.

Large Falls


The falls drop into a gently flowing, never-ending stream as shown below.

Lula Lake River


The second mile is all uphill except for a very slight leveling off just as you enter the last stretch of the race.  The view at the top is spectacular overlooking the Chattanooga Valley into North Georgia.

View From the Trail


You get an idea as to where the trail is located by looking at the JPEG below.  This picture was taken from the trail whereas the one above was taken from an overhanging rock  off the trail.

View From Trail(2)


My running partner was Todd Reeves.  He volunteered to call 911 in case the old guy went into cardiac arrest.    You can also see one additional view of the valley below.



Bob and Todd


I have no idea as to our time but I will say: great company, good course, beautiful day and a marvelous cause.  What else could you ask for?

One thing about this race, it was for everyone both young and old.   The father/daughter team shown below had a great time, completed the race and enjoyed the beautiful day.  Upon asking, I discovered this dynamic duo had an excellent time, pushing a stroller, walking and with him carrying his precious little daughter.

Pint Size Winner


As you can see from the picture below, Todd and I completed the race.  Since he had been working in South Africa for several months , we put in a great deal of time in “catch-up” conversation.  A little walking a little running and “tons” of talking.     By the time we finished, the sun was out and the remainder of the day was actually quite beautiful.     All-in-all, a great day.



Finish Line--Todd and Bob



Come join us next year.  We would love to have you celebrate with us.



2 Responses to “FREEDOM RUN”

  1. […] Freedom Run ( […]


    • cielotech Says:

      The Freedom Run was for a great cause. It’s the second year of the event and the second year I have run in the event. Hopefully, I will able to do so next year. The countryside is breath-taking so even if you walk the course, you are the winner. Take care.


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