The Inspiration of “I Run 4” by Julie Arduini


In a few minutes I leave for the annual IEP meeting to determine what helps our daughter will receive in the coming year. We recently moved so it is with a new district (we attend a Christian school so my rep is the same, but the services are provided by the district.)

These meetings are never easy because it’s easy to believe what we read on paper. Through the years what was in black and white gave little to no hope. Now we’re preparing for middle school years. She is in a regular classroom fighting to keep up. Her overcoming spirit inspires me.

This group has been such an encouragement in a short time. Our daughter’s issues for the most part are invisible (hypothyroidism, Albright’s, Hashimoto’s) and somehow I feel I have to fight extra hard for her, especially against the world who feels she should look a certain way or don’t understand how tired she gets. I am very aware there are millions of parents fighting harder than me. I also know what a lonely journey it can be.

A couple months ago my friend directed me to an organization called “I Run 4.” Runners of all skill levels are matched with a special needs child or adult and each time they work out, they dedicate that run to their “buddy.” They run for those who can’t. A special need is anything from having an IEP like we do to Down’s, autism, CP, etc…

Our daughter was matched with her runner quickly. Our runner is from the same area where my step son lives. She writes and has a great idea for a book. She is a Christian. It is the perfect match. She runs 6 times a week and tags me/our daughter on social media. Her posts are inspirational. I’ve watched our daughter reach out of her comfort zone because she knew someone was rooting for her and going the literal extra mile. I Run 4 has been amazing.

Our daughter even received a care package from her runner. She gave her the shirt from her last race, and it is a well known race in Madison. I gave our tween permission to take a selfie and put it on Instagram to show her runner. My step son saw the shirt and wondered how on Earth did his youngest sister get a race shirt from his city? And it was fun to share how this all came about. The care package came with other goodies and an encouraging note that our youngest is carrying with her.

I write all this because there are many runners who can’t wait to be matched and there aren’t enough buddies. The process is easy and I found it professional/legit. I have no regrets, except I wish I’d heard about this sooner. The need is so great that runners are waiting 7 months for their buddy. I waited two days to be matched. The need is that great.

If you know someone with a special needs diagnosis, I highly recommend they check “I Run 4” out. It changes everyone involved for the better.

We are living proof.
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About juliearduini

Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to find freedom in Christ by surrendering the good, the bad, and ---maybe one day---the chocolate. She’s the author of the contemporary romance series SURRENDERING TIME, (Entrusted, Entangled, Engaged,) as well as the stand-alone novellas, MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN and RESTORING CHRISTMAS. She also shares her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. Her other latest release, YOU’RE BRILLIANT, is for girls ages 10-100, written with her teenaged daughter, Hannah, and is book 3 in their SURRENDERING STINKIN’ THINKIN’ series. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read, as well as monthly with Inspy Romance. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at, where she invites readers to opt in to her content full of resources and giveaway opportunities.
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3 Responses to The Inspiration of “I Run 4” by Julie Arduini

  1. i spy God says:

    That’s amazing that you only waited a couple days… I didn’t know that!! I had to wait (while praying and praying for you) for months before God matched us together!! 😊
    To Him be the glory!! Praising God for you all daily!!❤️❤️ #irun4hannah

    Liked by 1 person

    • i spy God says:

      Oh, and I don’t know how inspirational I am… Hannah’s the one who keeps me going!! Thanks, girl!! 👏👏👏

      Liked by 1 person

    • juliearduini says:

      Yes, it was two days or less. I’m so glad our friend told us to join. I was nervous but God was all over it, and I’m so thankful for His goodness in bringing you to our lives!


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