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Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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The St Francis 100 is a marathon in faith

Rome Reports
Rome Reports
ROME REPORTS is a private, independent television news agency based in Rome, Italy, specialising in covering the Pope and the Vatican.

Eamonn Clark, director of The St Francis 100, will embark on a 100-mile ultramarathon from Rome to Assisi to help a community in the land-locked African country of Malawi.

“The inaugural 100-mile race is to sponsor a medical clinic in the Diocese of Mzuzu in Malawi, so it’s a Catholic medical clinic run by a few sisters from the Clarist congregation,” he explained.

“They’re from Kerala in India. So we’re helping to buy them medicine, your basic medicines: azithromycin, lidocaine, you know things like that, especially one of the things that they’re engaged in is neonatal care and delivery of children.”

According to World Bank, Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world with about 70 per cent of the population living below the poverty line.

Eamonn saw this run called “The St Francis 100” as his way of helping people in the country, despite being a self-proclaimed amateur long-distance runner.

“It’s the start of something larger than just one event. I really want to create sustainability within this model but also to help sponsor creative Entrepreneural ventures in the places where we’re giving hand-outs because to just give hand-outs is really not enough,” he said.

“Over time, it actually harms and paternalises. We really want to create businesses with parishes or dioceses where they can have a revenue stream over a long amount of time.”

Yet, it has not been all smooth sailing for The St Francis 100. The preparation has taken about a year and included scouting out roads and trails and training for this exceptional distance.

“When I first decided to run from Rome to Assisi, I put it into the internet and only months later I realised it was mostly along very dangerous roads.

“So I had to pick and choose how to get there and I’m going through a lot of farm roads, backroads, country roads, unmarked or unnamed roads. So I hope I can navigate. I have a team to help me, but it’s going to be a very interesting 24, 26, 28 hours.

Eamonn says The St Francis 100 might be the first of many events as part of this idea for a new philanthropy to help others in projects around the world.

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