By Randy Kirby
Kristen Severa is training to compete in the Warrior Dash, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 28 in Wright City, which is a benefit for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.
Severa, of Sedalia, explained why she’s involved in the event.
“Because child and cancer should never be in the same sentence,” quipped Severa, 26, who became a bone marrow donor earlier this year.
The 2013 Warrior Dash takes place in half-hour increments from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. that day over a 3.17-mile (5K) obstacle course.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, founded in 1962, is a pediatric treatment and research facility focused on children’s catastrophic diseases.
Other Warrior Dash events are taking place this year in multiple states such as Michigan, Connecticut, Washington, Indiana, Illinois, Alabama and Massachusetts.
The one west of St. Louis area (between Wentzville and Warrenton on I-70) is the one Severa is aiming for. The one she has lost 70 pounds for in the past five months while training for the mud-run event.
“I was already on track to get healthier by then, but (the Dash) made me amp up everything,” she said.
Severa does sit-ups, and rides her stationary bike at least one hour a day, the equivalent of about 17 miles daily. “I also try to make sure I go for a one-mile jog five days a week,” she said.
“I like to take gallon milk jugs, fill them with water and use them as weights,” she added.
“I cut out a lot of meat products, chicken, beef, pork, milk. I eat fish occassionally, and plenty of beans and nuts to make sure I get plenty of protein. And of course, your veggie burgers, veggie dogs have really high protein content,” Severa noted. “And I cut out a lot of carbs.”
Friends and family have noticed a definite change in her physique lately.
“I’ve had quite a few comments, and even more questions as to how I did it,” she laughed.
Severa sticks with salads when she goes out to eat, or visits a buffet that has healthy choices for her and her family of four.
Julie Goodson of Impact Signs is helping sponsor Severa’s entry fee.
“I talked to Julie about it and as soon as she heard it was for St. Jude, she was all for it,” she recalled.
More sponsorship is needed, however. Severa promised to wear a T-shirt at the event with a list of her sponsors, even though “it will be covered in mud by the end.”
Although her family will not be able to attend the Warrior Dash with her, Severa said she has a small “cheer team” going to support her and take photos of her efforts.
Severa also wants to take part in the USAgain program, which recycles old shoes for those who need them.
According to the Warrior Dash website, Warrior Dash, in partnership with USAgain, is presenting participants a unique opportunity to recycle surplus shoes at 2013 races.
Participants are encouraged to bring unwanted shoes from home, as well as recycling their muddy race shoes at the USAgain tent near the finish line.
“Shoes will be diverted from entering into landfills and given a second life by people around the world, making this unique recycling opportunity a win-win for our planet,” the website explained.
USAgain will also make a charitable donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on behalf of Warrior Dash.
“My shoes will be coming off my feet and into that pile of shoes, as well as any other old shoes I can get my hands on,” Severa stated.
Her fund-raising page for St. Jude is located at:
Checks and shoes can be dropped off at Four Seasons’ In-Home Services, LLC, between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. at 1801 S. Limit and checks can be made payable to St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital, she added.