On November 7, 2015, 36-year-old Moninda Marube won the Santa Barbara Veteran’s Day Half Marathon in Santa Barbara, California for the fourth time with a time of one hour, eight minutes and 41 seconds. The event was the culmination of Moninda’s 3,700-mile journey that began last July in Auburn, Maine.
Moninda grew up in Kenya. A lack of steady money and political violence contributed to a difficult life as a youth. But, his talent for running allowed him a way out, and his journey landed him in the United States.
In the U.S., Moninda began training, but ran into financial difficulties. To help out, he began training with other Kenyan runners under a manager. It was with this manager that Moninda fell victim to human trafficking. The manager would keep winnings from the races the Kenyans ran, leaving little for living expenses. Moninda lived in a house infested with bedbugs with no air conditioning and very little food. Finally in 2012, Moninda met Dan Campbell, the technical director of the Santa Barbara Half Marathon. He ran the Marathon and broke the course record. Campbell helped him get out of his situation and relocate to Auburn, Maine, where life is finally good.
Becoming involved with the Auburn, Maine Police Athletic/Activities League (PAL) and motivated to help others, he began The Moninda Movement to help bring awareness of human trafficking. The Moninda Movement consisted of Moninda’s one-man goal of running 3,700 miles in four months and finishing with the Santa Barbara Veteran’s Day Half Marathon. This amounted to running roughly 30 miles per day, 6 days a week.
Early into his journey, The Moninda Movement gained two sponsors – Bedard Pharmacy and Medical Supplies located in central Maine, and Therafirm, a compression hosiery manufacturer based in Hamlet, North Carolina with corporate offices in Kansas City, Kansas.
Bedard Pharmacy and Medical Supplies has a long history of serving its local community. As a small, family-owned and operated business headquartered in Auburn, Maine, they are a company that cares about their customers like family. Providing the community with the best quality medical supplies and equipment available is how they strive to inspire and empower individuals to take life’s challenges as they come, and to live life on their terms. They are also proud to be one of the last independent pharmacies in the state of Maine.
Moninda’s mission was a perfect fit for Therafirm. The U.S. manufacturer produces true gradient compression socks and hosiery including a line of athletic compression socks and leg and arm sleeves. Gradient compression in athletic socks and sleeves feature compression that is greatest at the ankle and gradually decreases toward the top of the stocking to help increase energy for endurance, better performance and reduces muscle fatigue and recovery times. But, equally important, Therafirm, as well as parent company Knit-Rite, Inc., holds improving lives as its mission, not only in the products it makes, but also in the many causes it supports locally and beyond.
The co-sponsorship included Therafirm-branded compression socks and sleeves and Moninda’s athletic apparel. Custom screen printing on Moninda’s apparel advertised The Moninda Movement’s message. Bedard and Therafirm also donated a portion of the proceeds from retail sales of Therafirm’s athletic compression products over an eight-month period to Moninda’s foundation in support of ending human trafficking.
Originally, The Moninda Movement’s 3,700 miles was to be a cross-country journey where Moninda would run from Auburn, Maine to Santa Barbara, California stopping in several cities along the way. Unfortunately, the logistics of getting his team of supporters through each leg of the journey proved difficult and the cross-country run had to be scrapped. Moninda did not let the setback discourage him from his goals, however. He continued to run his 30 miles each day from his home in Auburn, Maine making sure he reached the 3,700 miles it would have taken him to run from Maine to California.
Moninda finished his 3,700 mile run in time to catch a flight to Santa Barbara to run in the Santa Barbara Veteran’s Day Half Marathon – a race that he won for the record-breaking 4th straight year.