Update: Red Cloud counselor’s marathon turns relief effort

posted on November 15, 2012

by Christopher Ives

This year, Amanda Carlow, Red Cloud’s K-8 Guidance Counselor, has trained for and run in a number of marathons. However, neither she nor her teammates could have predicted the sequence of events that turned their trip to the New York City Marathon into a mission of good will and much-needed relief.

Carlow was chosen to be part of the Lakota Five, as they have come to be known, a sponsored team of five marathon runners raising money for a new youth center in the nearby reservation community of Allen.

Plans began to change for the team even before arriving in New York with the delay of their flight due to Hurricane Sandy. When they finally arrived in the city, their plans to take in all the sights and sounds were hindered by the widespread loss of power and the closing of many sites and businesses. The city had faced one of the greatest natural disasters in its history, but Carlow and her teammates, along with over 45,000 runners, still anticipated completing the race.

On Friday afternoon the team received their race numbers, and while the aftermath of the hurricane was looking grim, the team’s enthusiasm remained bright. 

A short while later the news began to circulate: the marathon would be canceled. This unprecedented cancelation in the wake of the disaster was difficult for the team. “It was kind of a shock,” says Carlow. “It was disappointing because I had been training for [the race], but at the same time, I understood.”

After some deliberation, the team came to a conclusion. “The reason we were there was to help raise money for youth back home,” says Carlow. Even though they would not be able to run the marathon they decided that they “could still help people as that is what [their] goal was all along.”

Amanda Carlow, of Red Cloud Indian School, works with other NYC Marathon runners in relief efforts.A day later, Carlow and her team boarded a ferry for Staten Island along with other race-less runners with backpacks full of water and supplies they had obtained the afternoon before. A new ‘Race for Relief’ was underway, delivering everything from food to clothes, and helping to unload trucks and clean debris along the way. The Lakota Five was paired with a group of other athletes running upwards of 8 miles to provide relief services. 

“Once we got into the neighborhoods, you could really see the damage that Hurricane Sandy left. Houses were off their foundations and each house had its own little garbage dump – belongings piled up to be thrown away. We helped to tear out sheet rock that had been ruined and remove appliances and furniture with water damage.”

“So we got to run,” continues Carlow. “It wasn't the NYC marathon, but running and helping those impacted was definitely worth it. We've been told that we can run it next year and that is something I am looking forward too.”

In addition to her position as Guidance Counselor, Amanda Carlow also coaches Cross Country and Girl’s Basketball at Red Cloud School. Congratulations to all of the Lakota Five on a job well done.