Matt Mauclair

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Day 3

Running with Gazelles

Timmy. Petrus. Lucson.

To the outside reader these are just random names, put in your mind to fill ghostly figure personas. However, each of these names will have a greater meaning when you finish the last line.

Each of these names, identified with a real life person, are the three Haitians running with us this week. They are showing their country that changes can be made in life by celebrating the passion of life through these miles.

To my family and friends, I’d like you to meet Petrus, backed by race results and fellow testimonials to be the fastest Haiti distant runner in country.

Timmy ‘Smiles’ - what I call him - is celebrated by country friends as Petrus’s top competitor ... but one of his closest friends.

And Lucson. His ability to communicate not with broken English but with a wide smile that lights the room, strikes a cord in your heart that sticks for a long time.

These three men have committed to the miles across the country, committed to helping their family, and committed to changing their world, one step at a time.

I’ve had the complete pleasure to run the first three days with all or each of these men. For me, watching top level athletes who have a complete understanding of how to get the most out of their bodies through a graceful activity like running, is fascinating to me.

The relaxation of their shoulders.

The lite foot strikes making their strides strong and efficient.

The controlled breathing pattern to allow their lunges to help generate effortless power... BUT the most amazing aspect of each of these figures, is their compassion. You can see it in their eyes... don’t just glance, stare into them.

Each tell a story of struggle, of promise and of progress.

Talking to Petrus on what Haiti means to his heart makes my heart melt - it’s his country pride, the same pride that allows him to take time away from his family and run along side this group of runners.

To us, he’s not the fastest runner on two feet in Haiti. To us, each of these men represent our mission that every of the 25 runners are on to bring awareness to this beautiful and engaging place.

Let’s finish this journey up, gents! Jacmel and the finish await... and a new direction for each of you and your people as well!

Pou Ayiti.