40 miles? Done!


Thanks for all your support in the form of e-mails, texts, shout outs on Facebook, calls, and more. I ran the 40-mile Solstice Run over a week ago and we reached our $30,000 goal for On the Ground’s women’s empowerment programming in the DRC. We couldn’t have done it without you!

It was the longest, shortest night of the year. Beautiful and ugly, difficult and loads of my kind of fun, humbling and inspiring. I did it! There were lots of ups and downs throughout the night, but I’m proud to say that I finished with a smile on my face and injury-free. I made sure to keep exercising almost every day since then – boot camp classes, yoga, hiking, running a bit, stretching. It’s helped. I feel good!

Now I’m glad to move on with my life and work on catching up with everything else that stayed at the bottom of my list while I was training and raising money for this incredible cause.


Solstice Run – part 2

photo 3(1)

It’s been a little while since I updated you on my training for the Solstice Run on June 21. Today a few of us from the team ran about 17 miles together. And we were done by 8 a.m.! We started in the dark and spitting rain at 5 a.m. and ended by 8 in heavier rain. We had a big stretch that was dry, cloudy and low 40s; I actually love this kind of weather for running.

Why 5 a.m. today? Jen and I both had families we needed to get back to and soccer games to jet off to later in the morning. Sneaking in a hot shower, hearty breakfast and a steamy cup of coffee? Mandatory. So 5 was the magic number. It’s actually pretty empowering to be done with a long run when a lot of people are just rolling out of bed. But now as I write this in the early afternoon, my stomach is upset, I’m about to collapse on to my keyboard and at the same time, I’m trying not to stop moving or my muscles will get even more sore. Good thing I got to run around the soccer field with Wren’s soccer team again this morning. So I might have added another mile to my total running tally today...

If you want to throw a few bucks toward this excellent cause, I would very much appreciate it. I’m about half-way to my goal of $1000. Every dollar counts! I truly appreciate your support; big thanks to those who have already given. Kudos! Know that you are supporting a wonderful program

Thank you! Click on through to donate or to learn more: http://www.razoo.com/story/Ashlea-Walter-Fundraising-For-2014-Solstice-Run

Onward! Keep on, keepin’ on.

What’s a cup of coffee worth to you?

It’s official! I’m in training for something very meaningful and difficult!

I’m training to run (walk, stumble) the 40 mile Solstice Run organized by On The Ground to raise awareness and funds for women’s empowerment programs in the DR Congo. The run will begin at sunset on Friday, June 20th in Leelanau County. It will continue south 40 miles through the night, ending at sunrise in Traverse City. At which point I will drink a beer and collapse on the shoreline.

The funds raised will be used to launch OTG’s next project area in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where OTG will focus on women’s empowerment programs. Together with our supporters and partners we’re working to bring peace and transformation for women’s lives in the eastern DRC region where hundreds of women, mostly widows, feel the brunt of difficulties in the conflict stricken area.

On The Ground recently returned from recent visits to the Lake Kivu region of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo where program work is being developed with coffee cooperatives, communities and partnering NGO’s to empower women coffee farmers.

Project Congo initiatives will promote peace and women’s equality while highlighting the inspirational people and stories. The work aims to break the chains of poverty and conflict through the funding and support of women empowerment groups in the coffee cooperative system.

Learn more by visiting www.onthegroundglobal.org


On a personal note, as a regular and avid coffee drinker, I’m especially drawn to the mission of this particular program. I can’t drink coffee anymore without thinking about the coffee growers around the world. Will you consider donating a few bucks toward the effort?

Perhaps look at it this way:

Donation of $2 – one cup of fair trade coffee

Donation of $10 – bag of fair trade coffee

Every dollar counts. I appreciate your support!

Click here to donate whatever you can to my goal of $1000 through Razoo.


Here’s a little photo from today’s training run at 5 a.m. It was 20 degrees with some new snow on April 15… Run on!

photo 1(1)

I plan on posting more information about my training, motivation, the DRC and what keeps me going. Any questions? Thanks for your support!

Do hard things.