When The North Face approached me with an expedition idea in Haiti, I jumped at the opportunity. They are partnering with Team Tassy, an incredible organization changing lives in the Haitian community.
(photo by Taylor Rees, Outside Magazine)
In 2010, a catastrophic earthquake killed almost 300,000 Haitians and left about 1.5 million people homeless. Ian Rosenberger was anxious to help, but quickly realized the need to work together to rebuild communities and develop resources, including healthcare, education, and employment. This was the beginning of Team Tassy. They put together a fundraising run, and not just any run, but an outrageous 230 mile run, across the entire island. You can read more about the full story in this article by Outside Magazine – Runners: You’ve Never Seen Haiti Like This
Despite being incredibly inspired to run with Team Tassy, I was scared. I knew it would be a challenge for me. The route is epic, a 230 mile run from Cap Haitian (the northern point of Haiti) all the way south, and along the coast, ending in Jacmel. Distance wise, this will be the farthest I have ever run. The terrain is also different, much flatter than I am used to; my specialty being mountainous terrain. Climate is another challenge; the humidity and heat in Haiti are the antithesis of the conditions in Colorado in late February (Boulder is still thawing from the 18 inches of snow). Additionally, I’d have to worry about clean water and mosquitos, carriers of Malaria and Typhoid.
But, despite these issues, the opportunity is one I can not pass up due to fear or doubt. I know it will be hard, I know I will suffer, and therein lies the beauty.
I’m excited to start this journey with fellow North Face teammate Dean Karnazes, and Team Tassy. Together we hope to prove that Haiti is not a place to be afraid of, and with our continued effort we can end global poverty by funding access to medical care and education.
The run starts February 20-27. We will be sharing our journey along the way, so follow along on my facebook , twitter and instagram as we #RunAcrossHaiti! Also, check out some other videos to learn more about the cause, and be sure to follow Team Tassy on their instagram, facebook and twitter.