Ultramarathon runner raising money for rescue animals

A Brown County woman is heading to North Carolina this weekend to run up to 100 miles for charity.

Sara Daehn is trying to raise $3,000 to aid The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado, a 720-acre refuge for abused wild animals, with 350 animals currently in its care.

Her plan is to run a 1.5-mile loop for 24 hours.

Daehn, who just moved to Brown County a little over a month ago, said this is her first attempt at a 24-hour race, but she’s held a “lifelong passion” for animal rights and distance running.

“Each of the animals currently living at The Wild Animal Sanctuary were rescued from illegal or abusive situations,” she wrote. “Reading through stories of the animals’ pasts left me sobbing.

“Using a portion of the donations I collect, I plan to ‘adopt’ three black bears — Ella, Catfish and Grandy. They are three of five black bears who arrived at the sanctuary from South Carolina after surviving the unimaginable. They were used in an ancient medieval custom called ‘bear baiting’ where hunters train their dogs to attack captive bears who have had all of their teeth and claws removed and are chained to a wall. These bears were regularly chained up and allowed to have packs of hunting dogs attack them in order to make the dogs feel more confident when they would go out on real hunting trips. Finally, South Carolina’s legislature passed a law banning the practice, and the sanctuary was able to rescue them.”

Her longest race to date has been 50 miles. Her goal this time is to make it to 75.

“I’m asking friends and family to make pledges per mile I complete as motivation to keep me going,” she said.

As of Sept. 20, she had raised $1,948 of her $3,014 goal. To learn more, visit her page at