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Two Austin men running 100 miles to raise money for people experiencing homelessness

They're running 100 miles in 24 hours with the goal of raising $100,000 for Finding Home ATX, a coalition that homes people experiencing homelessness.

AUSTIN, Texas — A classically-trained chef and a software engineering executive are teaming up to raise money for a coalition looking to shelter people experiencing homelessness.

At midnight on Nov. 12, Michael Sabrin and Charles Wagner will tie their shoelaces at the entrance of the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail. They're running 100 miles in 24 hours with the hope of raising $100,000 for Finding Home ATX.

Until the clock strikes 12 a.m., Sabrin and Wagner said they want as little stress as possible.

"Lots of eating and getting a little bit of sleep in before we start at midnight," Sabrin said.

Stepping away from the kitchen for a day, he said on the menu throughout the 24-hour running venture for him and Wagner is chicken and rice, rice-crispy treats with collagen and MCT oil – common food for endurance runners.

Through running, Sabrin and Wagner became good friends. Sabrin began his athletic career in Georgia, and Wagner started his fitness journey right before the pandemic. While running, Wagner said he noticed a problem in Austin needing attention.

"I started to see the impact of homelessness in Austin," Wagner said. "It just feels like such a privilege to be here today, to do something to give back and help with that situation and help all the people who are struggling."

Wagner said he knew he wanted to help and figured he could do so by running, but he didn't know where to begin.

Leo Ramirez with Finding Home ATX said the idea came to be over dinner and a drink with Wagner.

"I said, 'I knew the perfect cause,'" Ramirez said. "I didn't know how we'd make it work either, but with some help and inspiration from New York City's trail challenges, these guys are now doing this for Finding Home ATX tonight."

Ramirez said the coalition is the culmination of community members and leaders trying to make a difference for people in need.

“Every one of us has a piece of the solution, but not a single one of us alone has the whole solution," Ramirez said. “We all came together to basically come to an agreement that, to solve unsheltered homelessness for good, the only way that it was possible was for all of us to say, 'We’re going to work together to make this happen.'”

Ramirez said he's thankful for Wagner and Sabrin for helping Finding Home ATX reach their fundraising goal. On Nov. 2, Finding Home ATX announced it has raised 90% of its $515 million goal needed to house 3,000 people experiencing homelessness. The coalition said its goal will add new affordable housing units and build a "more advanced homelessness response system."

Finding Home ATX said it has already contributed to the creation of 1,400 new units in 20 projects in the development process, with 625 people already housed.

Wagner and Sabrin will be supporting this very cause. 

The pair plans to take breaks after every 30 miles ran and, depending on how many contributions are made or donations per mile made, they may add 10 more additional miles to the venture.

“I might be crawling," Wagner said. "I don’t know what we’ll do, but we’ll keep going so we can raise as much money as possible."

Sabrin and Wagner said if they run 100 miles, they will finish before midnight, Nov. 13. If they add 10 miles, they may cut it close. It's their hope to complete their run in one full calendar day.

Through their efforts, the two men also plan to set the Fastest Known Time record for the most loops ever run consecutively around the Butler Hike and Bike Trail in 24 hours.

To donate to Wagner and Sabrin's efforts to home people experiencing homelessness through Finding Home ATX, click here.

If you would like to run or walk a portion of the 100 miles on the Butler Hike and Bike Trail with them, click here.

For more information on Finding Home ATX, click here.

Natalie Haddad on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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