Haiti brings to a flood of emotions to my mind. There are few interactions I can recall from my times there that do not make my eyes begin to well up, even as I type this. So much of my current life and perspectives on life have been shaped by my experiences there. It is only fitting that I combine two of my loves, running and Haiti, into one amazing adventure.
When I tell people that I am running across Haiti a few of the common responses, well at least the ones that include words fit to print, are things like:
“Are you crazy?” and “Why would you do a thing like that?”
So let’s rewind back to last summer when I first saw this video from Team Tassy. I watched that video and then continued on to watch all the rest in the series. That video led me to this video. I instantly knew this was something I wanted to do. At the time I was preparing to go to Haiti for the third time with the KORE Foundation and everything that Team Tassy stood for resonated with me. Poverty is not a choice and many are without the opportunity to change that situation. Both KORE and Team Tassy believe that sustainable solutions to poverty involve job creation. Jobs lead to respectable sources of income which provide a wealth of opportunities for education and healthcare as well as hope for a brighter future.
Haiti is an amazing place with amazing people. I truly love every part of my experience there. Once you go to Haiti and spend any amount of time with the Haitian people you are never the same. You may leave Haiti but it never leaves you. This will be my fourth trip to Haiti and I can honestly say that it gets harder for me to leave every time.
So why a Run Across Haiti? There is no better way to experience a country, its people, and its culture than at 5 miles per hour. We get to experience the country in a way that few others can. We spend time with the Team Tassy family, because ultimately that’s what we are...we are a family. We get to raise awareness and raise funds to support our family on their way out of poverty.
This is the third year for the Run Across Haiti. The ultramarathon consists of 230 miles being run over the course of 7 days. I’ll do the math for you, that is about 33 miles a day. Due to logistics the days aren’t even and they vary from anywhere between 15 and a whopping 58 miles the last day. It is a test unlike anything I have ever attempted before. I’ve run more than 10 ultramarathons before but nothing compares to this. Between the heat, humidity, and sheer volume of miles it makes for an interesting set of conditions to navigate. Last year only 7 out of 20 runners finished so that gives you an idea of how challenging it is.
This Friday I will begin my journey to Cap-Haitien. Saturday before the sun rises I’ll begin with my first steps towards Jacmel...those steps are not for me but are for the future of Haiti. If you interested in following Team Tassy, updates will be posted on its Facebook and Twitter pages. I will also be sending updates to Charm City Run and If The Shoe Fits as I am able throughout the week.
If you are interested in supporting my run you can go to my Fundraising Page. Any and all donations are greatly appreciated and know that it is going to support a brighter future for the Haitian people.
About The Author: Nick Snyder
Running has been a huge part of Nick's life for 15 years. In the past few years he shifted his training from the roads to ultramarathons. Since his first ultra in 2014 he has run a number of 50Ks, 50 Milers, 100Ks, and 100 Milers. In 2015 he completed the grueling Beast Series in Virginia. In his opinion, there are few things more freeing than going for a run and enjoying the time spent by yourself or with a group.
Prior to joining If The Shoe Fits, Nick coached at the high school level and obtained my USATF Level 2 certification in Endurance. He has since used that knowledge to make himself a better runner and provide guidance to customers coming in the store in search of advice and guidance with their own running. He is also the half marathon coach at the Frederick store.