Run Across Haiti Day 3

Today was another 5 a.m. start with a 20 mile rolling net downhill in front of us. I tried to take it out easy and for the most part succeeded. At least I felt easy, but many of the miles were 8:15-8:30. We were soon greeted by the sun and some beautiful vistas.

I saw this mountain top prayer spot. A woman was climbing it and singing. I’m not sure how much of her voice will come through on the video.

We reached a smaller town and this was the first time I’ve seen more children in school uniforms. But then again it is a Monday. However, in much of the rural communities I’m sure not many children are able to go to school.

I had picked it up a bit around mile 10 and came up on Ozzie, Jaylen, and Jacque, around mile 15, and jumped in line for the madness that was to come. We had about 4-5 miles of intense traffic and the moto, bike, car, and people dodging that comes with. Ozzie was dropping some sub 7:30s in, but I wanted to stick with the group as that’s the safest.

We had crew direct us for a few turns which was much needed – there was no way we would have made it otherwise. The four of us eventually came up on Jase, Matt, and Dan, as they hadn’t found the finish. I called Viv as the others took off down the road, and she confirmed that we were heading in the right direction and it wasn’t much further, so I took off after them and a few minutes later we were done.

I’m hoping that today’s effort at the end doesn’t hurt too much tomorrow, which is a ~34 mile day! It will be very hot. :-/

The hotel rooms weren’t quite ready, and this is what all the bags look like piled up.

Now it’s time to relax and recover. Tomorrow is a long long day.

Photos from Duy Nugyen:

Run Across Haiti day 2

Alarms started going off around me at 3:30 a.m., but some people were already stirring a few minutes before that. I had hoped to make it closer to 4, but with all the commotion that wasn’t happening, so I just got up, got dressed, and packed.

We gathered for some final logistics and hit the road.

(I have a good video to insert here once we finally get better coverage, of some Haitians running with us and singing!)

Today was simple — 7-8 miles up, and 5-6 down. We started at 5 so it was dark for a while, but when the sun came up we had some amazing views.

Today was much less crazy with traffic than yesterday!

I settled into a run walk combo on the climb, thinking about the many miles in front of us. And when I hit the down, I was conscious not to go too hard so I wouldn’t crush my quads for the rest of the week.

Here I am with Brittany — a fellow SWAP member (Some Word All Play – runner’s coached by either David or Megan Roche). We both wore our SWAP gear today.

The hotel we are at today is very nice, which is great because I was done just after 7. There are a couple of pools and separate buildings — more like an apartment complex or a resort. It is a little weird as this town is very small town that’s in the middle of no where. All I can figure is they do some kind of retreats here??

A few of us walked into town and then on to a museum, where we met most of the rest of the group.

The walk actually took us through a very nice (by Haitian standards) neighborhood.

The museum was for Toussaint, who led the revolution of Haitian slaves against the French.

I opted to hop in the back of the pickup for the ride back to the hotel rather than walk it again.

Now we are back at the hotel, will have dinner soon, and get to bed early again as we run roughly 20 miles tomorrow.

More photos from Duy Nugyen:

Run Across Haiti day 1

Strava stats:  32.5 miles, 2400′ climb

Day one is in the books.  34 miles, maybe 3000 feet of climb mostly at the end.   I’m guessing the GPS tracked a bit short so this is probably accurate.

One word for today: INTENSE!

Wow, that was crazy. The first mile was calm, but as soon as we turned off the coast into Cap Haitian… cars and people and motorcycles.

And the motorcycles were INSANE! Sometimes 4 people plus all their wares for the market for the day. The motorcycles never let up. They would swerve at you quite often if you were on the road. And sometimes you had to be – there were no shoulders!

Here’s a video I took when I made it through the madness:

And another that Joe took:

Also, I had assumed that with a 34 mile run, we’d leave the city and hit some rural sections. And while there were less people later on, there were actually homes the entire way. (Homes is being a bit generous to many of them.)

We passed through a couple of smaller towns and market areas that were INTENSE.

Here are my favorite shots from the day. I didn’t take many of the people – didn’t want to intrude.  But you can see both the natural beauty and the poverty and chaos.

Here’s one the race crew took of me:

I came upon this amazing church hymn:

 

Families washing their clothes in the river:

(Some of those are out of order!)

We stayed at a huge open air school house for the rest of the day. A lot of locals came and hang out – we had a soccer game (I chose not to play – last time I played I lost an ankle!)

We were all in bed by 7:30. Up a little before 4 tomorrow!

Here are a few from Guy Nugyen…

 

Haiti reading list

The #roadtohaiti has not only been traveled on foot (training!).   I’ve also been reading a lot.  From Mountains Beyond Mountains, the book that helped define my “Why” for this adventure, to “Haiti After the Earthquake,” and now “The Big Truck that Went By,” I have learned so much about this little island country and its difficult and troubled past.  I can’t wait to arrive this Friday and soak it all in.

 

2017 East Coast Magical Mystery Tour Day 3, 4, 5

The next 3 days were the annual ACCS conference, which filled our days.  I won’t write here about all the great sessions and plenaries, others than to copy in a snippet that George Grant used about “The Long Explore…”

Rabbit:

I’ve got a splendid idea! Now listen: we’ll take Tigger for a long explore, see, somewhere he’s never been before. And we’ll lose him there!

Winnie the Pooh:

[awakes] Lose him?

Rabbit:

Oh, we’ll find him again next morning, and mark my words, he’ll be a humble Tigger, a small and sad Tigger, and a “oh, rabbit, am I glad to see you” Tigger. And it’ll take the bounces out of him, that’s what! Now, all in favor, say ‘aye’.
Piglet:

Aye. [Pooh falls asleep again] Pooh. [shakes Pooh awake] Pooh!
Winnie the Pooh:

[waking up, then raising his hand] Oh, here.
Rabbit:

Oh-ho-ho, good. Just good. Motion carried.

Why include this?  It reminded me a lot of why I tackle some of the adventures I do — to be humbled, to be reminded of how small I really am.  I don’t get sad, though, I get excited!  It’s a beautiful world, meant to be explored!

After the conference was over around noon, we drove up to Grove City College to get a guided tour of the campus.  It’s a great little school and a wonderful campus.

And that night Kelly and I went to a fantastic restaurant (Piratas) while the kids stayed back — they were full from lunch and didn’t want dinner just snacks.

2017 East Coast Magical Mystery Tour Day 2

A long car ride, packing for multiple trips within a trip (DC, Pittsburg for school conference and exploring, NYC, DE (beach)) and this is what you get:

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On the trip to Pittsburg from DC, we decided to stop by and see the United Flight 93 National Memorial in PA.  It was amazingly well done, and very much worth the time.

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I really had no idea how emotional I’d get at the memorial.  It started at the overlook, but inside the Visitor’s center as I was reading the minute by minute account of the day, it got worse.  I lost it when the TV clips they were playing replayed the Today Show footage of the 2nd flight hitting the Trade Center — I remember that exact clip as I was watching it live as it happened, and that brought the memories flooding back.  For those of you that don’t know, Danny Lewin, the co-founder of Akamai, was on American flight 11, so 9-11 has always been a very emotional memory for all of us that knew him and were working there that day, and I still get so sad when re-living it.  😦

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Once we got to Pittsburg, I got out for a quick run along the river(s):

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And then we went to Burgatory for dinner, and I got this fortune:  :-/IMG_1131

This looks like a great place for a conference and to explore post conference for a couple of days…IMG_1132

2017 East Coast Magical Mystery Tour Day 1

This year we won’t be heading to a national park out west 😦 —  instead have quite the itinerary planned on the east coast with stops in DC, Pittsburg, girls to NYC and boys to DE, etc.

Day 1 had us drive to DC to the National Cathederal and then see U2 with our friends the Martins in seats next to us, and other friends from PBO and Chapel Hill in attendance but not directly with us.

Photos of the day below.

A golden opportunity to mention quantity missed?

The National Cathedral had damage in an earthquake a couple years back that they will be working of for quite some time.

Stained glass depicting NASA’s trip to the moon:

After the Cathedral we got a taste of DC traffic — about an hour to go just 13 miles to get to the hotel!   We had a quick turn around to get a quick bite to eat and to the stadium for the show.  We got an Uber Black but on the way to dinner changed plans and had him drop us off at Chinese, and then walked to the stadium.

After ticket resolution, we finally made it in and got see the Lumineers play a couple songs!

U2 was pretty amazing, as always.

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Barcelona Day 4:  Montserrat (and back to reality)

Kelly and I got up early and took the subway to the Montserrat train, which was about an hour out of the city.  We had a bit of confusion on the “combined” ticket we had purchased back in town and which stop to get off, and what kind of ride we’d get up the last bit, but we eventually made our way up and down.  I would like to be on top of the mountain when there are less people, as it was a bit crowded, but it was still beautiful.  When we eventually made it back to town, I had to quickly rush off to the conference I’m here for!  Kelly flies home in the morning while I need to stay in town and work a couple of days.

Barcelona Day 3:  Old City Gothic and Gaudi

On the recommendation of my co-worker Larry, we booked a private tour through Runner Bean Tours.  We ended up with the same tour guide he and his family had, Jessi, an ex-pat from Australia.  She was fantastic and gave us a tremendous amount of history as we toured the old city concentrating on the Gothic the 1st half, and Gaudi the 2nd.  Later in the day we were also able to meet our niece Jessi to hangout for a bit as well as have dinner.  She’s in Bracelona this summer on a study-abroad opportunity.