Thousands of NYers, Kids Run for Haiti

Event raises more than $400,000 to help shell-shocked nation

By Glenn Zimmerman
|  Thursday, Jun 30, 2011  |  Updated 10:12 AM EDT
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Photos: Haiti Quake Hits New York Community

NBCNewYork.com

More than 9,000 runners showed up to support Haiti.

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And they're off … for a cause.

More than 9,000 runners from across the tri-state area set off on a four-mile trek through Central Park this morning to raise money for those who still suffer from the massive earthquake that devastated Haiti last month.

Even hundreds of children showed up to do their part in helping the shell-shocked nation. Asked what they were running for, participants simply said, "Haiti."
 
Red-faced runners catapulted themselves to the finish line, but the races weren’t about winning. It was an opportunity to personally connect with what has happened in Haiti.

"I feel so great, love to run … [it] just makes me feel so much better," said Dorcie Lovinsky, of New Rochelle, who has family in the battered country. "My mom told my Uncle what I was doing and he was so excited for me back in Haiti."

But it wasn’t only Haitians who had a personal connection. John Dunne, who works at the United Nations, said his relative, also employed there, raced for another reason.

"Haiti has impact the UN drastically so we wanted him to run it with the UN flag flying," Dunne said of his colleague. 

The race was exhilarating for those who braved the cold to tackle the course, but it also raised some much needed money for Haiti. More than 10,000 people registered for the race at a cost of $40 per contestant. That adds up to more than $400,000 in donations, not including the donations that non-participants dropped off.

Vendors donated everything needed to run the event – from the sound, to the tents to more -- so New York Road Runners covered all administrative costs and all the money donated is supposed to directly help the people of Haiti via the Mayor's fund.

The result? A runner's glow that those involved hope never goes away.

"I hope this keeps the spirit up and people continue to help out," Lovinsky said. 

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