Sahara, Leona Divide,
& Grand 2 Grand

RACES

Deyl Kearin lives in Santa Barbara with his wife Paige and their three kids, Summer, Vienna and River. Deyl is co-founder of Enduravest Partners, a real estate investment firm specializing in apartment investments. In his "spare time" he has been training for the 155 mile New Zealand run in March 2019.

Deyl grew up in San Diego and attended Westmont College in Santa Barbara. He started supporting Opportunity International in 2002, and then shortly after joined the Board of Governors. He decided to combine his love for endurance running with his passion to help Opportunity clients around the world, so started Run4Poverty, which has now raised almost $200,000 for Opportunity International. 

His first Run4Poverty was a 155 mile run through the Sahara desert. Deyl recalls that during that first run, in the middle of the night, out in the desert, he realized he was alone and very, very tired. It was at that moment that he thought of our clients and the hardships they endure daily to survive and provide for their families, and regained his strength to carry on. 

Six years later, Deyl now prepares for his their Run4Poverty: 155 miles of rugged terrain through New Zealand. Deyl is excited, and notes, "it's a privilege to run for Opportunity. God has blessed me in so many ways, and this is my way of giving back in support of this important and life changing mission."


Deyl Kearin

375 Miles

DISTANCE

$101,000+

$$ RAISED

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CHARITY

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Gobi Dessert
& Leona Divide

RACES

Vanessa Felts has an adventurous spirit and thrives on mental and physical challenges. She also has a deep desire to love God and love others in tangible ways. What inspired Vanessa to follow in the footsteps of her close friend, Deyl Kearin, was the way he combined adventure, personal challenge, and global citizenship in the first Run4Poverty Sahara race. 

Vanessa was further inspired to train for the second leg of Run4Poverty when she learned that 93% of microfinance loan recipients worldwide are women, who are creating businesses to provide for their families. She decided to set her goal with the One Woman Initiative, empowering one woman for every kilometer she runs.

Prior to signing up for the 2013 Gobi March, Vanessa had never run an official marathon, but had competed in triathlons and a few half-marathons. She is confident that months of training, the support from her community, as well as a fierce commitment to run for women in poverty will see her through to the finish line.

Vanessa grew up in Moorpark, California and majored in Communication Studies and English at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, where she still resides. She works as a Behavior Analyst, providing school consultation, parent education, and in-home treatment for students with Autism and related disorders and their families. 

After the Gobi March, Vanessa plans on resuming her other hobbies, which include hiking, paddle-boarding, and yoga, though another endurance race is already tempting her.


Vanessa Felts

205 Miles

DISTANCE

$96,109

$$ RAISED

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Opportunity International

CHARITY

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Leona Divide 50-50

RACE

Being a cause-driven person is what really sparked the fire in Abby to run a 50K, not the actual running part. Having a heart for service has taken her all the way to orphanages in both Russia and Mexico, and to serving as an AmeriCorps Vista in Oakland, CA. 

Even though Abby is one of those rare athletes that got featured in Surfer magazine as a kid and played volleyball in college, running never came easy. Committing to run for a cause that is greater than the physical hurdle of a long day of constant movement made the undertaking not only do-able, but also incredibly satisfying.

Being in community with the Run4Poverty team during this challenge has been a huge blessing for Abby. Running with her husband and friends has made this experience so wonderful, challenging her to push beyond her own mental and physical boundaries. If there is one thing to know about Abby, she is in all things determined; once she commits to something she is all in. Abby is committed to making an impact through Run4Poverty and supporting the change that can be achieved through Opportunity International.

While living in Santa Barbara with her husband Gregg and dog Frankie, Abby loves being able to hike, trail run in the mountains and always enjoy the escape of being in the outdoors. A naturally joyful person, Abby will be looking forward to finishing this race with a huge smile, a fist pump and a massage.


Abby Starr

50 Kilometers

DISTANCE

$18,851

$$ RAISED

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VIDEO

Opportunity International

CHARITY

Leona Divide 50-50

RACE

Gregg Starr is incapable of doing anything at half speed and believes it is important to live your passions. In fact it came as no surprise, when he committed to running 50 kilometers, on a trail, through the mountains. Gregg simply doesn’t settle for mediocre.

Born and raised in Track Town USA, or more commonly known as Eugene, Oregon, Gregg has for many years appreciated and practiced the sport of running. Taking inspiration from the late Steve Prefontaine, Gregg approaches all physical activities with incredible passion and drive.

While completing his undergraduate studies, Gregg was able to spend a semester abroad in New Zealand. There he discovered a deep and enduring passion for travel, the thrill of extreme sports and the importance of education. After graduation, he continued these adventures by living, working and running in Italy and Costa Rica. Now as the Associate Registrar at Westmont College, Gregg confirms that his greatest adventure to-date is meeting and marrying his amazing wife and fellow running teammate, Abby. Together, they have committed to sharing the experience of training and completing the Leona Divide trail run. 

Living in sunny Santa Barbara, Gregg relishes being able to eat outside year round, hiking with his dog Frankie, and biking to work. He is excited about the nearing challenge of his first ultra marathon and in doing so, impacting the lives of those in the Philippines. 

“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”-Steve Prefontaine


Gregg Starr

50 Kilometers

DISTANCE

$18,851

$$ RAISED

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VIDEO

Opportunity International

CHARITY

Leona Divide 50-50

RACE

In 2008, Kasey attended the Opportunity International conference in San Diego with her brother, Deyl, and their family. This is where she learned about microfinance loans and how they are transforming lives all over the world. A few Opportunity International clients were there, and with translators, these women shared their stories. They had thriving businesses that allowed them to provide for their families and contribute to their community. Kasey has been impacted by their stories and the beautiful confidence and respect these women had for themselves.

Having been inspired by the amount of loans raised and the extreme challenge of her brother's journey across the Sahara and Vanessa's run across the Gobi, Kasey jumped on board for the next race. Also loving personal challenge and adventure, she is excited for this opportunity. Kasey is an All-American long jump and triple jumper so running slow, long distances is foreign to her, but with training and the motivation of raising more money, she believes she can do it. She is also excited that she can share in this experience with her husband, Skye. 

Kasey grew up in San Diego and graduated from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, where she still lives with her husband and French Bulldog, Rio. She does business development at a tech company and enjoys traveling, yoga, snowboarding, sushi and now running :)


Kasey Sander

50 Kilometers

DISTANCE

$18,851

$$ RAISED

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VIDEO

Opportunity International

CHARITY

Patagonia &
Leona Divide 50-50

RACES

Skye has always been one to push his limits and challenge himself. When his brother-in-law Deyl ran his first ultra-marathon across the Sahara Desert and raised money for Opportunity International through his efforts, Skye immediately knew that this was a challenge he wanted to face at some point in his life. 

This year, things started lining up too perfectly for him to ignore and despite major fear and doubt, he decided to lace up his running shoes and sign up for Racing The Planet: Patagonia. 

First, when he saw that Racing the Planet was doing a special race in Patagonia that would fall on his 30th birthday, he knew there was no better way to kick off a new decade than pushing himself harder than ever before. Secondly, Opportunity International is an organization that is always on his heart but when he found out Opportunity was making a big push in 2017 to further their presence in Colombia, he heard God’s call loud and clear to get involved. 

Skye spent the first 18 years of his life growing up in Colombia as a missionary kid with his parents and three older sisters. He learned to read and write in Spanish before English, and he has always identified more with being a Colombian than being an American (at least on the inside, on the outside he's 6’2 and 100% Swedish descent but he can’t do anything about that). Growing up, he was heavily involved in his parents’ ministry with the Covenant World Mission working alongside the Colombian people. He saw first-hand the poverty and hardships Colombians face through his parents’ ministries, many of which work with marginalized populations—the same communities in which Opportunity works. 

Having the chance to partner with Opportunity and further a great cause in a country he loves is a dream come true, and gives him an internal motivation for this race that is larger than himself.

Skye graduated from Westmont College with a degree in Business and Economics and lives in Santa Barbara with his wife Kasey, 17month old daughter Isla, their french bulldog Rio and another baby girl on the way in March! His interests include following Jesus, soccer, traveling, and a good book.


Skye Sander

186 Miles

DISTANCE

$49,101

$$ RAISED

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Opportunity International

CHARITY

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The Charity

Opportunity International provides small business loans, savings, insurance and training to over 14.3 million people working their way out of poverty in the developing world. People in 22 countries use these financial services to start or expand a business, provide for their families, create jobs for their neighbors and build a safety net for the future.

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