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Sports Medicine Feature

Courtesy of Run Across Haiti

Only Seven Made It Last Year

Biloine W. Young • Tue, March 14th, 2017

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Most people associate marathons either with the ancient Greeks who ran the first one or perhaps Boston. But there is another run, the Run Across Haiti, a 230 mile trek, that has attracted a small group of runners.

Last year only 7 out of 20 runners were able to complete the run.

This year 21 runners, ranging in age from their 20s to early 50’s took part in this race to run from one end of Haiti to the other. Eleven runners completed the run.

Haiti is a mountainous country. Much of the run is over isolated mountain paths. The last day includes a 13 mile climb starting at mile 26 that is the most difficult section of the run. The highest point in Haiti is just over 300 feet.

What happens to the body of a runner who completes this race in the four days allotted to it?

A report by Team Tassy, the non-profit sponsor and organizer, states that “blisters and subungual hematomas were common, and most nights, the physicians helped the runners with foot care.”

“IT band strains and patellofemoral pain were also commonplace. Maintaining hydration and nutrition through the run was the key. We had to hold runners out at different points due to a gastrointestinal illness since they could not adequately hydrate. We saw a couple cases of heat exhaustion. Due to the heat and long mileage, we had to keep a diligent eye on the runners’ mental status and overall appearance, to detect runners at risk.”

Team Tassy, which works to get Haitians out of poverty, organized the run to raise funds for the organization’s work. The ultramarathon is intended to show that Haiti is not a place to be feared or to be pitied. The run has taken place for three years.

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