Self-effacing Landmark Education Graduate’s Charity Run is in it’s 14th Year

lylemarket.jpgLyle Smith is a Landmark Education Graduate and former coach in the Self Expression and Leadership Program. 14 years ago he while participating the Landmark Curriculum For Living, he created a Charity Run Called Lyle's Myles. As the son of Missionaries he grew up in the Congo as the Aids epidemic began to spread in Sub Saharan Africa, he was especially affected and felt compelled to do something about it. Since he began Lyles Myles he has moved several times, and each time he has moved the run has moved with him. The run began when Lyle was then 60 years old. The first years the run was 6 kilometers. Each year since that time, the run has added .1 kilometer to where this year it was a 7.3 kilometer run.

Here is a recent Story from The Columbian:

Dorothy Wright-Chitembure, originally of Zimbabwe, spoke to more than 100 participants before Saturday's race. At the post-race celebration in Esther Short park, she said people across Africa appreciate aid, even if it benefits programs in other countries

"People are taking all this time to come here for people they don't even know," Wright-Chitembure said. "Coming from Africa and seeing how much it helps people back there, I feel so blessed and honored to be here."

Participants Elaine and Barbara Stellini of Hazel Dell felt equally honored to do some of the helping. "The feeling of community, that felt good," Elaine said. "You feel like you're doing something for someone somewhere else."

The race benefited Martha's Pantry for the first time. The food bank also provides personal hygiene items and clothing to local families affected by HIV/AIDS.

"This is what helps us keep the doors open," said Vicki Smith (no relation to Lyle), of Martha's Pantry. "We wouldn't have a pantry if not for people like this."lyle-finishline.jpg

Although runners who beat Lyle in the 7.3-kilometer race were disqualified, the fastest "disqualifieds" still received trophies.

The Stellinis pushed strollers Saturday in their first Lyle's Miles. They followed the race's lone rule and finished behind Lyle.lylestrollers.jpg

"We had the kids with us," Elaine Stellini said. "So we didn't have any problem with that, because we were pretty slow."

Did you know?

Lyle Smith started Lyle's Myles when he lived in Naperville, Ill., and kept the races going after moving to Vancouver, with the first local race in 2003. Lyle's Myles is not measured in myles, or even miles. Smith picked kilometers, he said, because they're shorter and easier to run.

The race was originally 6.0 kilometers to mark Smith's 60 years. He's added 0.1 kilometers every year.

Smith grew up in the Congo, where his parents were missionaries.

Smith once ran actual marathons, before an Achilles injury and a "fat injury" slowed him down.

Justin Carinci covers neighborhood news and issues. Reach him at 360-737-4006 or [email protected] .

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