From start to finish: Wave Across Iowa run from Iowa City to Davenport raising thousands for kids

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Wave Across Iowa runners Chris Brooks, Rich Russell, Curt Johnston and Austin Chesney are welcomed by cheering fans as they cross the finish line at Public House in Davenport after a 62-mile run from Iowa City to Davenport on May 22, 2021. (Ryan Jaster, HawkeyeHQ.com)

 

A group of five showed up at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City before dawn with plans to run to Davenport to help raise money and awareness for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

62 miles and 13 hours later, four crossed the Wave Across Iowa finish line at Public House in Davenport in what one runner called “one of the cooler things I’ve ever done” and another described as “awesome, rewarding, fulfilling … and extremely challenging at points.”

As of Saturday night, around $15,000 had been raised for the Mollie Tibbetts memorial fund benefiting Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the children’s hospital. A lot of that is through GoFundMe, which is still open for donations, but T-shirt sales at Public House and online also contributed to the total so far.

Austin Chesney, co-owner of Public House and one of the Wave Across Iowa runners, said supporting the kids and eliminating the stigma of mental health issues are what it’s all about.

“Words can’t even describe what that means to me,” Chesney said after finishing the run. “It’s a big deal. Mental health is a big deal. … I appreciate everybody’s support out here. It’s been second to none.”

Here’s how it played out on social media Saturday, from the start just after 5 a.m. to the finish just after 6 p.m.

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