Why I Run: Jalyn's Run Across Haiti

Marathons are hard. 26.2 miles of testing one’s limits, whether fast or slow or somewhere in between, takes a toll on the body. Imagine breaking it up into 5K’s at a time with roughly 50 minutes of rest. Well, that’s exactly what three runners did in Columbus on Saturday, December 1. Sam, Jackie, and I started at 6:30 am to run a TRIPLE treadmill marathon at our Columbus Running Company, Dublin location. This was our kickoff fundraiser for the 2019 Run Across Haiti. After just about 11.5 hours of rotating on a single treadmill, we completed 78.6 miles, three full marathons.

The Run Across Haiti is a 200+ mile adventure run over seven days. We start on the northern coast, at the Atlantic Ocean, in the city of Cap Haïtien and finish on the southern coast at Jacmel, in the Caribbean Sea, running coast to coast. The run is the largest fundraiser for Work, a nonprofit organization that accompanies families in Menelas, Haiti out of poverty through good, dignified jobs. They provide wrap-around services for families in one community that includes access to healthcare and education for the youth. The Run was created to show that Haiti is not a place to be feared or to be pitied, but embraced for its beauty and potential it has to offer.

Running across Haiti is the main driver of funding for Work and is a perfect illustration of what we believe and what we want our families in Haiti to understand. Everyone deserves the opportunity to provide a life for themselves, to live a life that they are proud of. Unfortunately, we live in a world that continues to push individuals into the cycle of poverty and creates unfair economic class systems. Work aims to break the cycle, starting block by block in one community.

The run not only raises funds to help propel this action, but it also shows what we are willing to give in order to make this happen; we are giving up our time and our physical bodies to show that we are willing to give it all in order to end poverty together. This was really brought home when Jules, Work’s Haiti Country Manager, said, “Honestly, my heart is broken. Seeing you suffering like that just to help some people that you didn’t even know for a very long time. Thanks for all of this. This is not only about running, this is HOPE.”

We did a crazy thing called a triple treadmill marathon because we believe in the mission of Work. We believe poverty doesn’t have to be the only option. With the help of so many generous folks (customers, group runners, CRC staff, family and friends), we were able to raise $490 during the fundraiser. To put this in perspective:

$50 = Job training workshops

$120 = Wrap around service for a family member for a month

$250 = Full job training course for a head of household

On behalf of Sam, Jackie, Work, and our families in Menelas, I want to say THANK YOU. Our running community in Columbus is one of the most generous (and badass) around. If you were able to come out and support, please continue to follow along our journey (@doworkorg) to see the work put in and how your money is being implemented. If you missed out on the fun, but would like to support, please visit www.crowdrise.com/2019rah.

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To contribute to Jalyn's fundraising efforts, visit bit.ly/2019RAHJalynD. You can also support Work and the RAH with the purchase of Bobson's Bus Ride sunglassesCRC will donate $10 per purchase to Work to help accompany families in Haiti out of poverty.