34 Miles in Solidarity
This past Saturday would have been the start of our 2019 Run Across Haiti®. (Read about our decision to postpone here.) While we were not in Cap-Haitien physically for our 34 mile Day 1 of the Run, our hearts couldn’t be anywhere else but with our families and team in Haiti. We did the next best thing we could do, run 34 miles in our home cities including LA, Pittsburgh, Rochester, Chicago, Portland, San Francisco, Greenbelt, Houston, and Boulder to show our commitment as a team. Our Columbus and Philadelphia runners drove to Pittsburgh to run with the team there.
We started with a virtual morning team huddle. A letter from Escane, our Crew Lead, was read to lay out our charge, our route reviewed, medical minutes shared by our RAH medical director Ray, a letter from Josette aligned our purpose...etc, all leading to our first “Pou Ayiti” as a team.
Runners logged a grueling and emotional 34-miles from all over the US and Haiti, for each other, for our families, for Haiti. Check out our first 2019 RAH photo gallery and blog posts.
We remain as committed as ever to our families and will complete our fundraising as we work towards new dates for the Run. Join us today so we may continue to serve our families during this time.
Comment below to let your runners know that you're cheering for them!
73% Raised of Goal
Paddy Moynahan | @Paddymoynahan, Steven Carvente | @steadyarchives, and Rodger Obley | @Rodgerobley
Ellen | Los Angeles
Yesterday would have been our first day hitting the ground with 34 miles in Haiti. As most of you know, the trip was postponed due to civil unrest in many of the cities we’d be running through. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the complexity of the situation. In my simple understanding, there is a leader in power who was seemingly discreet in the election process. The people suspect that the election was compromised in some way. During his term, inflation has increased (25%), wages have stayed the same at an average family making $2/day, and prices of basic goods have stayed the same or increased - often higher than U.S. prices. The people are in desperate need of change and answers, but they aren’t getting any response from the president, except to say that “he will not back down”. Frustration has led to protests and protests have led to violence, all in the struggle to have a voice and afford the resources needed to survive.
I came into this project with the desire to strengthen the unity of my body, mind, and spirit, to learn more about a culture outside of my immediate reach, and to assist in building sustainable businesses that lead to long-lasting economic growth.
I’m ashamed to admit that the past year has gotten the best of me. I became so consumed with anxiety and dread of the 200+ miles, that I neglected to remember the reason we’re running at all. This situation in Haiti has reminded me that the world is not so big, and we’re all not that different. We’re connected by the basic survival needs, and the desire to be heard and live happy and healthy lives with our loved ones. Of course, I’m awakened to the many resources and privileges that I’ve taken for granted in my life. But I’m also realizing that I’m in a unique position to not only monetarily help people in need, but to share their stories and bring a piece of their culture to my circles, who may not have the opportunity to see a beautiful place like Haiti in their lifetimes. The current situation is overwhelming and heartbreaking, but I’m using the postponement as a time to get my head in the right place and to remember why we’re doing this at all! It’s not about me or the miles, it’s about serving other humans, preserving a unique culture, and building something that will last beyond our run and our lifetime! I’m proud to be representing an organization who I can 100% trust to be doing good work with the health and safety of the community at the forefront of all decisions and operations.
All that being said, It was so important for me to run 34 miles with my LA family yesterday. This is a truly amazing group of hard-working people. I can’t even begin to describe what a huge difference it makes to run with a team who’s pace is comfortable and who’s minds are in the right place! :slightly_smiling_face: My spirits are renewed and my legs are ready to keep running.
Iggy | Los Angeles
I am not sure if I have the right words to describe what happened yesterday. All I could say is that it was the most amazing and meaningful experience I have been a part of.
The runners of RAH (around the US and Haiti) gathered to run in solidarity for Haiti. We all ran 34 miles, which was the distance scheduled for our first-day run in Haiti. It was by far the longest run I have ever conquered.
I want to take this time to thank everyone who joined us and supported us along the way. To my RAH group, a huge shoutout to you all because we stayed together and looked out for one another. I am extremely honored to be a part of this amazing group of individuals who share the same mindset and goals as I do. You all made the run so much more easier than what it was.
During my run, I experienced so many emotions such as anticipation, joy, fear, and pain. Thoughts about quitting crossed my mind, but that was not an option for me. In the last few miles, I had the guidance from above, my uncle Angel, who reminded me of why I have signed up for this and to keep pushing and to keep running. It felt like I had his wings and it pushed me to new limits.
As you can all imagine, we all completed the 34 miles with big smiles on our faces. For us, it was not just about running the miles, but to accomplish our fundraiser goals and the Work mission to end poverty through dignified jobs.
As most of you know the Run Across Haiti was postponed due to civil unrest in the country. While we’re all disappointed about our run being postponed, we’re glad the organization chose to prioritize safety above all else and made the decision to postpone.
The Run remains postponed for the time being with new dates in the works which I’m still 100% dedicated to. Now, more than ever, Haiti needs us. Please keep the country and our families in your thoughts and if you haven’t already and are able please donate today. Please support our mission to improve health care, alleviate poverty, and provide access to educational opportunities in the beautiful country of Haiti. Link in Bio
P O U A Y I T I 🇭🇹
Iggy Rosas Jr
Ozzie | Los Angeles
Day 1 (although not in Haiti) brought back so many feelings of the 2018 Run Across Haiti. The team huddle, the medical minute by Ranger Ray, Escane’s letter, it all just took me back. It’s the kind of pregame pow wow that you take a little more serious, you listen in, you focus, and you get ready to execute. Yesterday we all executed!!! Running 34 miles through our respective cities was tough, but I’m sure it’s nothing in comparison to what our families in Haiti have had to endure. For them, I would do it again and again and again. A lot of work to get done, and I’m all in for this cause!!!
Cathy | Pittsburgh
Haiti in Pittsburgh was an amazing experience. Thanks to our hosting City for having us. We felt the love from LA, NY, Portland, Colorado, Haiti and Canada. United we ran. Can not wait till we run together in Haiti. 34 miles in 28 degrees is probably as painful as 80 degrees is Haiti so I think we are ready.
Victoria | Houston
60+ miles. One week. I was originally planning on running at least 60 miles in one week across the country, Haiti. I had never been to the country. The photos past runners shared all but convinced me this was something I wanted to, no, needed to do.
Recently I had decided that I exhibit some traits of one who has what can be referred to as a “savior” complex. I like to be the one helping others. I want to be the one to save the world, so that I can say I did. Part of that is me using running as an outlet. I run with organizations that help people. I like to sign up for races with good causes. I say, “I’m running for those who can’t,” but what I really mean is, “I’m running to say that I’m running for those who can’t.” I’m self-aware and have accepted this part of me. Even though there is an ulterior motive, good things are still being done.
Back to the 60 miles. I signed up to run across a country I had never been to, with people I had never met. I started training harder than I had before. Up until this point, I would run a marathon, and then take a week off after. In this week I was to run a marathon, plus another 20+ miles a few days later, then another 18 or so the following day. That’s a lot of wear and tear on your body. And I wasn’t even one of the crazies signing up to run EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. It’s a lot on your body. Physically. Emotionally. Mentally. I didn’t think I was strong enough to do it every day, so I settled for the relay. Settled. I was running 60+ miles in one week! Something to be admired.
As I’m training for this journey, I’m also to be campaigning. Something I had a little experience with previously. When I ran with MDA Team Momentum, I was to raise money for them as they would cover my entrance fee to the Dallas Marathon. I got lucky. A friend of mine was oh so kind and conveniently looking for a cause to donate to, and I was there at the right time. I didn’t have to work hard to hit my goal. Fundraising for RAH was a whole different beast. That number taunted me. I didn’t know the first thing about really fundraising. I volunteered for nonprofits who fundraise. I was there to spread the story, get the word out, and help at special events. I wasn’t there trying to raise money, that was development. So here I am trying to train my body, while also trying to learn how to, and raise money, and juggling work, and trying to build a free fitness group in my city…I was spreading myself thin and wearing myself out.
During this time, I took a nasty fall that put me behind schedule for a few weeks. Later in January I started getting some aches and pains. It started after the Snowdrop Relay. Needing practice of back-to-back running days, and, another good cause, I decided to sign up to run this 55-hour race. I had a great relay team. The race was quite the experience on its own. Running 2.5 hours back-to-back nights, running into the new year, literally, all for kids with cancer. My heart was happy! The days after were when things took a turn. Talking with my doctor, the conclusion was overuse, and I was supposed to take it easy. I *kinda* listened. I dropped some mileage and amped up cross training.
As time was running out, so was my battery. But my heart was full of hope, and my brain was trying. I would get through this, and then I would rest. That started to wear on me a bit. I was ready for this thing to be over before it even began. My whole mentality was out of whack. I wasn’t ready for this trip. I wouldn’t have been able to fully enjoy what I was doing and appreciate the moments given to me. So, when the news came that the trip would be postponed, I was rather relieved. I would get to start resting now… And at the same time, I was incredibly heartbroken. I was really looking forward to this, and the thought of them scheduling it to a time where I couldn’t go? That crushed my soul. Because I did put in all of this time and effort, and I didn’t want it to go out in vain.
As I was sulking our Slack was blowing up. Preparations were being made to still run the Saturday, just in our respective towns. Conveniently, a friend of mine posted about a race that very day. As much as I was ready to sit this one out, the fomo was real, as was my desire to race everything. “Pou Ayiti!” I thought. I decided I would run one more race, in solidarity of my fellow runners and our Haitian family. Running because I can, for those in need.
It was an 8k race and I thought I would be fine. Not even a mile in and that tendon going down to my big toe was on fire. A few weeks ago, the right foot was giving me problems, but they decided to switch. This was not the race I wanted. This was not the run I wanted. I was hoping to PR and feel great and be excited and share in the glory of everyone. “Look what we did for Haiti! We’ll see you when we can!” Instead I felt shame. This was a terrible race. I had to stop multiple times from the pain. The humidity never let go of me. I might have stayed out too late the night before…It was a mess and not my proudest moment.
As I scrolled through the photos of the other runners I began to reflect. It’s okay that I didn’t run 34 miles like they did. It’s okay that I didn’t look as amazing as they did. It’s okay that I didn’t have a big group like they did. I ran for two good causes that day. I ran that day! I did my best to think of the people of Haiti that day. I prayed for Haiti that day. And I suppose that’s all I can really do at this time. I hope that I’ll get to run across this beautiful country. I hope that I’ll get to come back with an amazing story talking about the wonderful people that I met, and the ignited fire of hope I have that we can one day end poverty. Until then, I’ll be on the sidelines cheering on the inspiring people of Work.
MK | Los Angeles
As you know our run to Haiti been postponed due to the political situation at the moment. To show loyalty and solidarity to the cause, we still did our first day run in our own city, 34 miles.
During the run, so many emotions went through my mind. Each mile, each step was a reminder why we are running, why I am running! It’s bigger than running, LA running community was behind us in every miles! From Haiti to Pittsburgh to Philly to Los Angeles and all over nationwide, we united and run 34 miles no matter the circumstances, the cause made us to do it because we know it was the right things to do and thankful to be part of it with such an amazing group of people. IT WAS NEVER ABOUT ME, IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT US!!
And every step I took was for Haiti, my family, my LA running family and my lost ones. Thank you to everyone who help us in any levels, we couldn’t do it without you. POU AYITI, L’union fait la force.
Love you all. ONE RUN WE ALL RUN
Kristen | Pittsburgh
When the degrees outside don’t measure up, but the fire for the mission heats you to the core! We were supposed to be in Haiti, and even though we couldn’t physically be there…we definitely showed up in our hearts!
To witness a group of people from all over the US…and in Haiti…come together physically, and virtually, in solidarity for our Haitian families and staff…is an experience that lights my soul on fire!
So proud to be a part of Work and Run Across Haiti. Even though I’m not a runner, being a part of this crew feels like family! Hearing letters that were written by our Haitian family members and staff…so powerful. Those moments brought me right back to my why!
We cheered as the runners ran 5-mile loops of North Park. We drove ‘support vehicles’ and blared the horn just like Bobson (our Haitian bus driver) would have! We had music and flags, posters and pickles! And overall…we had solid camaraderie…and so much fun!
I hadn’t met most of those running before this day. Loved that our Philly and Columbus runners joined us in Pittsburgh. I planned on meeting them in Haiti, but it was such a blessing to have them there. Now, I have even more to look forward to when we all see each other again…in warmer conditions, with everyone from around the country, and especially with our Haitian counterparts!
I’m ready to CREW and CHEER the heck out of 230 miles in Haiti. Proud of our team, our runners, and our staff for pulling together to do big things!
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead