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GRASS VALLEY, Calif. September 16, 2016 – The annual Kompassion Run, “the only run that ends with a cow kiss,” returns to Grass Valley in October, with special guests including Olympic athlete Seba Johnson and hundreds of rescued animals. 2016 Kompassion Run features a morning 10K or 5K run or walk through idyllic Animal Place, a 600-acre sanctuary for farmed animals.

Along with the run/walk, there will be a quarter-mile “Bunny Fun Run” for kids, a DJ, vegan BBQ, kids’ fun table, animal tours – where everyone can meet and pet the rescued animals – and speakers. Non-running friends and family are welcome (no dogs, please) to cheer the runners on and meet the animals after the run. All proceeds from the Kompassion Run will benefit Animal Place.

Date: Sunday, October 16, 2016

Check in & day of registration: 8 a.m.

10K & 5K runs: 9 a.m.

Location: 17314 McCourtney Road, Grass Valley, CA 95949

Kompassion Run host Seba Johnson was only 14 when she competed in the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics, making her an Olympic legend as both the youngest Alpine skier in history as well as the first black female skier in history. Nearly 30 years later, she remains the only black woman to ski competitively in the Olympic Games. A barrier-breaking athlete, she was rewarded not with laurels but with prejudice, violent opposition, and death threats for her proficiency in a sport traditionally regarded as a white man’s domain. She appeared on the world stage again in 1992 in Albertville, France, but in 1994, declined to compete in the Lillehammer, Norway games due to the country’s commercial minke whale hunt. Always an advocate for animals, she was once disqualified from a World Cup event for her ethical objection to the required outfit, a ski suit with a leather patch. She is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, a graduate of Howard University, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and has worked in films, TV, commercials, and industrials.

“I have volunteered at Animal Place several times, so it’s an honor to return as host of the Kompassion Run, and to combine my passions for healthy living with animal advocacy,” said Johnson. “My hope is that participants take the time to meet the animals, hear their stories, and learn about the issues that impact them, because the best way to directly help farmed animals is to adopt a vegan lifestyle.”

Along with Johnson, speakers include Kim Sturla, co-founder and executive director of Animal Place; Nikki Warren, motivational speaker and founder of Kaia Fit; and Shauna Schultz, registered dietitian and nutrition instructor.

“The Kompassion Run is one of the most beautiful races anyone will ever run,” said Sturla. “For the second year in a row, we’ve marked out a course to showcase the autumn beauty of the Sierra Nevada foothills and the haven we have created for the special animals who live at Animal Place. There isn’t another 10K or 5K like it in California, if not the rest of the country.”

Kompassion Run is sponsored by KaiaFIT, Whole Foods, Sun Flour Baking Company and more.

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For more information, or to register, visit kompassionrun.com.

Animal Place was founded in 1989 and is one of the largest and oldest animal sanctuaries in the nation, operating a 600-acre sanctuary in Grass Valley, California, and a 60-acre animal shelter in Vacaville, California. Animal Place’s California animal shelters fill a much-needed niche of farm animal rescue, sanctuary, education, and adoption. Animals arrive from small and large farms, slaughterhouses, research facilities, and neglect or cruelty cases. Nestled between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, its Grass Valley location offers tours, cooking classes and workshops at the sanctuary as well as volunteer and internship opportunities. At its Vacaville location, Rescue Ranch, needy farm animals including chickens from egg production facilities are rehabilitated and placed in permanent homes. Animal Place – named best farm sanctuary in the country by Best in Shelter – is a nonprofit 501c3 organization funded by private donors. For more information, visit animalplace.org.

Kaia Fit! is a women-only fitness program that specializes in delivering personalized training in a supportive atmosphere. Kaia Fit! is not your typical gym: it is more of a team sport played by a group of individuals. Kaia Fit! focuses on personal results achieved by working in a team atmosphere, surrounded by women helping each other accomplish common goals. The mission of Kaia Fit! is to create strong bodies and powerful minds. For more information, visit kaiafit.com.