Haiti’s Runners to Field Team at NYC Marathon, With Help From Sean Penn

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Above: the ING NYC Marathon

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Sean Penn’s J/P Haitian Relief Organization will be fielding a team of runners from Haiti at the New York City marathon in November, it announced this week.

The team will be supported by J/P HRO, in partnership with the Haitian Amateur Athletic Federation. It will do its training in Haiti.

“J/P HRO celebrates the commitment, determination and endurance of Haiti’s athletes,” said Gary Philoctete, J/P HRO Country Director, in a statement. “We are excited to have the opportunity to support them as they take their rightful place as competitors on the stage of international sports.”

J/P has launched a fundraising campaign called “The Long Run for Haiti,” with 10 charity slots for Haitian marathoners, along with celebrities and “high-profile philanthropic fundraisers,” the organization said. Of those, five will be Haitian, based on qualification.

Haiti had been slated to hold a half-marathon in Port-au-Prince on Sunday, although the race has been rescheduled.

“Haitian athletes competing in the 2013 ING New York City Marathon is a tremendous boost to the Haitian Sports Community,” said Magalie Racine, Haiti’s Sports Minister. “More importantly, the opportunity is significant in the continuum of promoting national pride, values and excellence. To be able to be a part of such an international platform amongst world class athletes is a great source of inspiration for Haitians everywhere and especially our local youth.”