We love the vibrancy of Haiti’s landscape, culture, and have always enjoyed getting to know her people. We also understand that this is oftentimes not the Haiti that most people read about. In 2015, we created the Run Across Haiti, a 230-mile ultramarathon from the northern tip of Haiti to its southern end, to show that it’s not a place to be feared or to be pitied. Furthermore, we realized that running a ridiculously large number of miles lends us a bigger microphone to talk about our mission – ending poverty through good, dignified jobs.
Our team and several board members have made the trek across the country in past years, and we’ve been blessed to have our friends and family members kick this off with us. We’ve also been incredibly grateful for the new, and all too inspiring friends we’ve been able to meet through this adventure run. Check out our 2017 Run Across Haiti roster below. Each runner has her or his own unique story to share about why they run. Consider supporting their campaign by hitting the ‘Donate’ button, or simply share this run with your friends and family, and help us expand our network.
A few slots remain for 2017. If running to end poverty gets you just as excited as it gets us, click that ‘Apply’ button below. Interested in a spot on the 2018 team? The ‘Sign Up’ button is for you. If you’d like to do a story on the Run Across Haiti, let’s chat! Contact Christina Marsico at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet our 2017 Run Across Haiti runners!
Pennsylvania runner, Adam Reichbaum, has been running and competing in triathlons for the last three years, this will be his first Run Across Haiti. “I am looking forward to putting my passion for running to good use helping others.” Adam, 42, completed the Ironman Triathlon in October.
San Diego-based runner, Benjamin Hemmings, 28, will be joining the Run Across Haiti for his first time. He has run several Pittsburgh Marathons and is training for the upcoming San Diego 50. “I have received a glimpse of Team Tassy’s work and the impact it has had on their families is an inspiration!”
Indiana runner, Bethany Kirkwood, has been running for 6 years and has completed over 200 races. This is her first Run Across Haiti. “Over this past year I went from someone who knew nothing about Haiti to being overwhelmed by knowledge and an urge to empower our brothers and sisters in Haiti.” Beth, 26, is currently training for her first ultra, the Huff 50k.
Brandy Hagel, 26, from Kelowna, BC, is a devoted runner. Her motivation to run 230 miles comes from our family members. “I think about everyone I met, and each of their smiling faces, every single day.” With half and full marathons under her belt, and her own 12 hour run-a-thon completed for 2017 RAH fundraising, she’s ready for her first RAH.
This is Colorado athlete, Brittany Lane’s, first Run Across Haiti. “The Run Across Haiti is a perfect opportunity to fuse my passion for running with an ongoing desire to learn how to best drive tangible impact.” Brittany, 27, has previously run the San Francisco Marathon and Philadelphia Marathon.
Pittsburgh triathlete, Chad Holderbaum, is joining the Run Across Haiti for his first time. “Endurance sports can often be a selfish endeavor, but through sport and by teaming up with Team Tassy, running has more meaning and purpose.” Chad, 26, has completed over 20 Ironman Triathlons, including 4 Ironman World Champion races.
Pennsylvania runner, Ed Schmiech, has been running for 37 years. This will be his first Run Across Haiti. Ed, 58, has completed the Megatransect Ultra as well as many marathons and half Ironmans. “I am looking for a way to take on a greater purpose with my running in 2017. I can’t think of a more noble purpose than Team Tassy’s.”
Esther Park, 32, will be participating for the first time in the Run Across Haiti. Previous runs include the LA and Chicago Marathons. It is a dream come true for Esther to use her talents as a runner to bring attention to the poverty people face in Haiti, and to work towards the goal of dignified jobs. “It will be an eye-opening experience and I hope that by doing so I can inspire others.”
This will be Brooklyn runner, Jamah Figaro’s, first Run Across Hait. Jamah, 32, grew up with his grandmother’s stories about the Haiti she remembered, “clean, safe, productive and simple,” and he has always wanted to see her homeland. “One foot in front of the next, I’ll do my part to prove to the world that Haiti is a place full of potential.”
This will be Raleigh runner, Jason Tischer’s, first Run Across Haiti. Jason, 41, is an avid runner and competitive ultra-marathoner and has completed several 50 and 100 mile trail races in the US. “It has been a dream of mine to run across Haiti and use my running to make a difference ever since the first time I was able to go out and run in the mountains of Haiti.”
Three time RAH participant, Josh (a NYC native now living in San Francisco) is this year’s Race Chairman. A lover of music, running and businesses who do good things in the world, his partnership with Team Tassy is a natural fit.
“When you finish the run, it’s funny,” he said, “you’re finished with the run, but there’s this open ended feeling from it because you know there’s so much more work to do.”
Pittsburgh runner, Josh Wentzell, 28, has spent a lot of time volunteering in Haiti and can’t wait to run the Run Across Haiti for the first time. “All I want to do is keep doing my part to help Haiti.” Josh has run the Buffalo Marathon, the Pittsburgh Marathon twice, and he is training for two more.
Pittsburgh native, Justin Weaver, 28, is joining the Run Across Haiti for his second time. He has powerful memories of his time with Team Tassy families last year, and ending poverty through dignified jobs is a mission he believes in. “I stood in Marc Noel’s house and listened to him speak to us about how Team Tassy has changed not only his life, but the life of his children. Isn’t this what we all want?”
Laurence BienAime, 54, was born in Gonaïves, Haiti and started running at 50 when she resolved to get healthy. She has run the Central Park 60k and the Bermuda Triangle Challenge. Laurence will join the relay team for her first Run Across Haiti. “I was very inspired by the tremendous work that Team Tassy has done helping Haitian families regain their dignity.”
Matt Mauclair, 38, is a lifelong athlete, Multi-Sport Coach, and has completed 18 Ironman Triathlons. This is Matt’s first Run Across Haiti. Matt hopes people will follow his adventure; he would like to introduce his supporters to the Haitian people and their struggles. “You never, ever cross the finish by yourself – you always bring across all the people who have helped you through this journey.”
Pennsylvania native, Nick Snyder, 36, has been running for over 20 years, including the Beast Series. Nick has been travelling on volunteer missions to Haiti for 3 years and supports Team Tassy’s methodology, “I love that Team Tassy has the goal of helping Haitians out of poverty by providing employment opportunities and training.”
This will be Canadian mountaineer and runner, Robert Hughson’s first Run Across Haiti. Robert, 27, is excited by the physical challenge, but mostly “the run allows me to be part of something much bigger than myself while experiencing the true character of Haiti.” He has previously climbed Pico de Orizaba and taken part in the North Face Endurance Challenge.
Rodger Obley, 24, hails from Pittsburgh and this is his second time joining the Run Across Haiti team. Upon his return last year, Rodger wrote, “My body is tired, sore, and bruised. But as our team made its way across Haiti, all I had to do was look to my left or my right and remember that my pain was finite. For so many Haitian families, the battle against poverty has no definite end point.”
Ohio runner, Sam Ridenour, has been running for 15 years. This will be his second time participating in the Run Across Haiti. Sam, 40, can’t wait to run again this February and spend more time with the families. “The story of Team Tassy is one worth sharing. They stand beside the families they serve and are willing to do whatever it takes to eliminate poverty in their lives.”
Sean is running across Haiti for the 3rd time and is excited to have his youngest daughter Grace join this time around as part of the crew.
He’s running for the same reasons as before, but he has some personal reasons this year as well. Sean was diagnosed with testicular cancer this year, had an orchiectomy and was told there is an 85% chance the surgery cured him. Sean returned to running as soon as I could after his surgery and wants to help spread Team Tassy’s message that good dignified jobs can end poverty (and that he’s beating cancer).
Wesley Sainval, 25, was born in Haiti and immigrated to Connecticut as a teen. This will be his first Run Across Haiti. Wesley has trained for the NYC Marathon and as part of the 2016 Haitian Olympic team before injury made him slow down. “After reading about the RAH, I knew that my dream of helping Haiti through my love of running would soon be realized.”
A year-two RAH runner, Zack Morgans, said, “Team Tassy is doing amazing work in Haiti and I am humbled to be a part of it again. This run is a great opportunity to teach people about the beautiful country of Haiti.” Zack, 27, has run 15 marathons, 10 adventure races and 3 triathlons, including the Ironman.
A very big Team Tassy thank you to our sponsors. Read more about them on our blog!
And our amazing hosts for fundraising events in 2017:
And the places who graciously give us a place to rest our heads at night: