Because he ran a marathon last weekend, Cory Scheer won’t be among the 12,000 runners to start one of the four races of the Kansas City Marathon on Saturday in downtown.
But his participation in the event will be felt before the starting gun, and after the final finisher crosses the line.
Scheer is a team captain for Team World Vision, an organization that uses running and endurance events to raise funds to provide communities in Africa with clean water.
Some 680 runners will represent Team World Vision on Saturday, nearly double the number of last year, and the group will have raised more than $300,000.
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“It’s been an amazing series of events,” Scheer said.
Especially for Scheer, who is the dean of admissions at William Jewell College. Connecting the dots of relationship with Team World Vision began in a most painful way.
Scheer was cycling, training for a triathlon, when he was hit by car in July of 2013. The accident resulted in three hairline fractures of his spine, a concussion, a serious shoulder injury and 300 stitches.
Two days later, Scheer walked out of the hospital. He was amazed by the number of people who met his basic needs throughout the ordeal, and decided to embark on a series of marathons where he would fund-raise for charities that represent five basic needs: shelter, water, food, love and education.
After swearing off biking, Scheer did just that, completing 13 marathons over a 12-month span. Along the way, he was featured in Runner’s World magazine.
In same issue was a runner from Chicago, Rusty Funk, an area director for Team World Vision who detailed his passion for the organization.
“I connected with him,” Scheer said. “We determined we needed to consider doing an event in Kansas City.”
The Kansas City Marathon, which includes several charity partners like the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Children’s Mercy Hospital and Team RWB (which connects veterans to their community through social activity) was the ideal spot.
One of the great appeals for Scheer was Team World Vision’s openness to novice runners.
“There were many on their team that hadn’t run a 5K before they got involved with this,” Scheer said.
That was the case when Scheer went to his church, Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in Liberty, and described Team World Vision, which says a $50 contribution can provide clean water for a child for a lifetime and that 84 percent of the organization operating expenses were used for programs that benefit children.
“There were people I had never met and wouldn’t know if we hadn’t connected through Team World Vision,” Scheer said. “They inspire me.”
Waddell & Reed Kansas City Marathon with Ivy Investments
▪ When: Saturday at 7 a.m. for marathon, half-marathon, team relay; 7:30 a.m. for 5K.
▪ Start/finish line: Washington Square Park (north of Crown Center), near the corner of 22nd Street and Grand Blvd.
▪ Registration: Closed online. Late registration available at the Health & Fitness Expo, Crown Center Exhibit Hall A, Thursday, 3-8 p.m. and Friday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. No race-day registration.