Archive for November 5th, 2012

The Lakota Five, with other volunteers, preparing to lend a hand. (Photo by Cliff Matias, via ICTMN)


Remember these guys? The five young Lakota runners who were slated to run the New York City Marathon Sunday?

They didn’t run but according to ICTMN, they did make their trip worthwhile in the wake of hurricane Sandy’s destruction.

The nonprofit ONE Spirit sent the runners to New York, and Cliff Matias of ICTMN shows how they made their mark there:

    When five young people from the Pine Ridge Reservation answered a call for runners to represent their community in the New York City Marathon they never imagined their visit would create such a lasting impression. The trip which was sponsored by One Spirit, a non-profit organization headed by a remarkable woman by the name of Jeri Baker. One Spirit works within the Pine Ridge community bringing food, wood and various programs to community members in need. This past spring the New York Road Runners Club granted five entries to One Spirit with the hope of encouraging Native youth to train and finish the 26.2 mile course. “By allowing just regular community runners to enter the race, this program became a way to highlight the positive accomplishments members of the community can do,” says Baker. So with the help of Lakota running coach Dale Pine they set out to recruit 5 runners: Jeff Turning Heart, Amanda Carlow, Nupa White Plume, Alex Wilson and Kelsey Good Lance.

    Two days before their visit, New York City was hit with the worst natural disaster it has ever faced. Nonetheless the city’s mayor told the world the race would continue. On Friday evening as this reporter sat with the runners in the lobby of their hotel conducting an interview the news reported the Marathon was cancelled. One could see the look of disappointment on the faces of the runners who worked so hard preparing for the race some running up to 120 miles a week. Almost instantly the runners, their coach and One Spirit’s Baker decided this trip would not be in vain and even though the mission of the run was to help their community they knew many communities in the city also needed help.

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