Iowa woman completes 4x4x48 running challenge to open school in Africa

Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 3:58 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -A Cedar Rapids woman has completed an intense running challenge to help open a school in Africa. Vanessa Vega ran a 4x4x48. That’s four miles, every four hours for 48 hours. It adds up to a total of 48 miles in two days, or nearly two full marathons.

Vega is the JV girls basketball coach at Kennedy High School and has always had a love of basketball. She quickly turned into a runner on a mission after reading the book ‘Can’t Hurt Me’ by David Goggins.

”He always encourages people that if they try this challenge to do it for a cause,” Vega said.

For her, that cause is half a world away in Sussex - a village in Sierra Leone, Africa.

”My brother-in-law, he is from Sierra Leone. He has a family, he has friends that still live over there,” she explained.

Vega ran to help with startup costs for a school in Sussex through the nonprofit Kingdom Life and Prayer Ministries International which plans to open a charity school in Sussex this fall. It’s something her brother-in-law Moses Kargbo says is crucial as most families in the village are poor. He hears from kids there daily, asking to go to school.

”I was in tears because when they asked me, I couldn’t afford it,” Moses told TV-9.

”It’s something that my husband has been really really passionate about for a lot of years. We take for granted what is here,” added Shana Kargbo, Moses’s wife.

As Vega completed 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours, she says she never ran one mile alone. Her family and friends were with her every step of the way as she raised both awareness and money. So far she’s raised around $3,500.

”I have three little boys that I thought it would be a good opportunity to show them that the world is a lot bigger than what we know here in Cedar Rapids, maybe teach them a little bit about how lucky they are you know being born and raised in the U.S.” Vega said.

While her running challenge is complete, her mission is ongoing with the hopes to raise enough funds to open the school in Sussex by September. The goal is to raise a total of $10,000 to cover start-up costs.

There are two ways people can donate to the effort. You can give directly to the school’s bank account using this link: You will need to type ‘4x4x48 for the kids’ in the Notes/Description section on the second screen. You can also Venmo Vanessa directly at: @Vanessa_Vega_42 with the description ‘4x4x48 for the kids.’

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