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Spring Hill Man Set To Run 48 Miles In 48 Hours To Support Barefoot Republic Amidst Marathon Cancellation

Spring Hill Man Set To Run 48 Miles In 48 Hours To Support Barefoot Republic Amidst Marathon Cancellation


23 April 2020 – Spring Hill, TN – Derek Spirk, a resident of Spring Hill, is just like many Nashvillians and people from around the country who were training for the St. Jude Rock N’ Roll Nashville Half Marathon scheduled for this Saturday, April 25. However, unlike many people, when the race was postponed due to the outbreak of COVID-19, Spirk didn’t stop training because of the commitment he made to Frankin-based non-profit Barefoot Republic and a group of runners from around the country.

In fact, Spirk decided he was going to need to get creative and do something very different in order to stay motivated and keep people engaged with the fundraising through the pandemic. “I was following an online challenge of runners participating in a 4x4x48 – that’s four miles every four hours for 48 hours. I thought these people had to be nuts. Shortly after, I became one of those nuts.

“See, none of us were running for ourselves,” he said of the group who refers to themselves as Team Run Barefoot. “We were running to raise money to send kids to camp. We were running to provide 200 scholarships to families who would never be able to afford to do this on their own. And now with COVID-19 and more families out of work than ever before, I know the need is going to be greater than when we started so quitting is not an option.”

Barefoot Republic is a non-profit organization focused on racial, cultural, and socio-economic diversity amongst their campers. In 2019, they served nearly 2000 families from twelve states and 74 countries of origin. Their mission is to unite young people from all backgrounds spreading HOPE, UNITY, and LOVE.

When asked how Spirk got involved with Barefoot Republic, he shares, “I’ve been around Barefoot Republic for years through my work with Amy Grant. She hosts Barefoot Camp for two weeks every summer at her farm in Franklin. It wasn’t until my daughter was old enough to attend camp though that I finally understood it for myself. My daughter blossomed after attending a Barefoot camp, and her understanding of who she was and how she could impact the world around her has been astonishing.”

Tommy Rhodes, Founder and Executive Director of Barefoot Republic said, “Derek and the entire Run Barefoot Team have been amazing. We are so grateful for all of their fundraising efforts and hard work they have put in for our team and campers.

Per Spirk’s fundraising page, he has also invited others to virtually run or walk with him during each one of the four-hour legs of his race. Participants from California to Texas to Georgia will all be running, walking, and/or biking with Derek next week. If you’d like to learn more about the 4x4x48, please visit: ​

Barefoot Republic Camp is based in Franklin, TN, with camp facilities on 110 acres near Scottsville, KY on Barren River Lake. BRC is a multi-cultural summer camp with a mission to facilitate Christ-centered relationships between individuals from diverse racial, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds through an equally diverse platform of artistic, athletic and team-building programs. All camp sessions provide opportunities for campers to develop cross-cultural relationships, participate in Bible study and worship, and enjoy activities that include team sports, extreme sports, fine arts, performing arts and outdoor adventure.


Tommy Rhodes

PO Box 40365,  Nashville, TN 37204