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      Local Runner Going the Distance, Raising Money for Charity

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      Kathleen Hamrick's two year struggle with anorexia and her love for running, taught her a valuable lesson about life.{}" You just put one foot in front of the other and you will eventually reach your goal," said the 26 year old.{}Hamrick has completed numerous marathons and ultra-marathons.{}She'll run on roads, trails, just about anywhere her passions will lead her. On September 22nd, Hamrick will run 169 miles in a rigorous race called 'Grand to Grand.' {}"It's 7 stages so each day the way that you place is that you run as fast as you possibly can with about 18 pounds on your back," she said.{}To give some perspective, it takes roughly 146 miles to travel from Birmingham, Alabama to Atlanta, Georgia. {}Hamrick is running the intense race through desert, hard packed sand, sand dunes, shallow river crossings and canyons. {}Her objective for the race is simple: {}To raise awareness about eating disorders and raise money for a local organization committed to helping people battling the disease.{}"We're raising money for a scholarship for an individual who cannot afford treatment for her eating disorder," said Hamrick. {}"This person is anonymous to myself and my sister and all other people. But our goal is $5,000.00. {}We are just over the $3,000.00 mark and we have about 2 more weeks to raise that money."{}Hamrick and her sister both struggled with eating disorders. {}She said stress triggered the disease. She got help after coming dangerously close to death.{}"I had all sorts of complications. My kidneys were failing me. {}My liver was failing me. I had some heart damage. I was about 70 pounds," said Hamrick.{}Health experts say eating disorders, like anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating, are a growing problem in the United States. {}The National Association for Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders estimates up to 24 million people of all ages and genders suffer from eating disorders. {}"Be healthy focused not aesthetically focused. Encourage one another based on things that are true core values of who we are as people not how we look," said Renee Miller, Executive Director for A Center for Eating Disorders when asked how people can help those they suspect may have an eating disorder. {}As for Hamrick, she's confident heading into race day. {}She just hopes she'll be able to reach her goal before and after the race.{}If you would like to donate, click the link:{}http://www.gofundme.com/Running-for-Recovery--ACE

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