“Run to My Origins”

 

“The hardest part is to wake up every morning knowing that I have 40 miles or more to run!” Pierre Basset, 23 years old, French, born and raised in France… and to the conquest of India. On the 14th of August 2018, Basset started a trip to India. A journey that will be unforgettable and eventful. In fact, Basset wanted to be a little different and didn’t book a plane ticket, or he didn’t want to go for a car road trip or took a bus. No, Basset decided to run to India. Along with only a backpack, a bicycle trailer, some snacks and water, Basset started his 10 thousand kilometers, which is 6,213.712 miles, to India afoot.

Born from an Indian mother, and a French father, Basset wanted to learn about his origins, his roots. Lived in France all his life, he was curious to know about his Indian heritage. “My mom being from India played a huge role in my decision in term of where to go.” Basset said. “She would have been German, I would have been done with my trip already. Australian? I think I would have been in a pretty complicated situation right now!” Basset laughed about. The idea of running, instead of simply book a flight from France to India came up by the fact that Basset has always wanted to embark on a great adventure. He was ready for the adventure, that’s for sure, but didn’t know what to do. “I’m an athlete, my dad is a great runner, my mom is Indian…” Based on these three aspects of his life, it was a natural decision to him to choose India as destination.

Pierre Basset has always been attracted to the wild life, the adventures, the extreme sports, and the discovery of new landscapes. Elite Track and Field athlete, his coaches and teammates used to be amazed and amused by the free life he was living. Basset has several videos of him on the internet doing Parkour, travelling around the Hexagon, jumping off cliffs, adding more and more to the adventures book. What could outdo such experiences?

For preparation, Basset, didn’t need too much help, but his family’s, wife’s and close friends’ support. He also got the opportunity to get sponsored by different entities like Decathlon, which is a French sporting goods store, Kalenji, being the main brand for running of Decathlon, and Running Conseil Orleans, which is also a French sporting goods store. They provide Basset regularly with equipment like shoes, clothing and his bicycle trainer, which is from a company named Croozer. Moreover, Basset has personal trainers who physically tested him before the journey, and will do after.

Currently on the road, it gets tough sometimes, but Basset can count on his relatives to cheer him up on the phone, or join him on the road to make a little bit of the run with him. “The moral is not always here, I thought about giving up, but it warms my heart to get all this support, and it makes me even more motivated to finish up strong.” Even if the motivation is here, Basset can’t get away from troubles or creepy situations. “One day, on the road of Hungary, I get stop by a car in the middle of nowhere. Some guys get out the car and walk towards me. Stressful moment. They were police officers dressed in civilians!” Basset shared.

His current location is Iran. 2000 kilometers, 1,250 miles to go. For safety reasons, Basset is planning on getting a flight to New Delhi, India. In fact, crossing the Pakistan is too dangerous. Even for Basset. When Basset reaches India, he planned on spending a month on the territory to take time to connect with the Indian people. He will then, flew back to France, from South India, where he will meet with his trainers to do some check-ups, to then go to Island of Mayotte, where he recently moved with his wife. “Run to My Origins” is the name of his journey. Great story of a kid, eager to learn about his Indian’s roots, about his mom. Videotaping, journaling everything, Pierre Basset is living something that is “one of a kind”, because he is “one of a kind.”

Lauranne.

Pictures credits : RunToMyOrigins Instagram Page

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Simply Well Thought

Where are you walking towards to? What are your goals? What do you want? 

The questions I wasn’t able to answer to last year, maybe last month. Not that I have now clear answers, but it is clearer. I see passed tomorrow, passed next semester. 

I know where I want to be and what I have to do to get to my goals. I wrote down my steps. And I will follow them. 

Hopefully, it will go as I wish. I am a fighter, I will fight until I fall forever. 

All-American

On Wenesday March 8th, nine student-athletes of the Saint Augustine’s University Track Team took off for the NCAA Division II Indoor Nationals. The NCAA Division II Nationals were in Pittsburg State University in Kansas the same weekend on the 9th and 10th. Among the Falcons, five ladies and four men succeeded to qualify for the competition. Shannon Kalawan qualified for the 4*400 meter relay that she will run with Marissa Gale, Ade Hunter and Amanda Crawford, and for the open 400 meter dash. Magaly Tshipopo qualified for all of the jumps: high jump, long jump and triple jump. On the men side we had two jumpers : Jumonne Exeter and Dakarai Hightower (triple jump and high jump), and two runners : Dontarian Evans for the 200 meter dash, and Shaquille Dill for the 800 meter.

The track team accompanied by three of their coaches, Sandy Chapman, George Williams, and Annie Giscombe, and Sophie Ifill who is helping the team as a trainer, riched their hotel on Wenesday night at Joplin, MO. The weekend of competition starting Friday, on Thursday they managed to have a little check out on the indoor facilities of Pittsburg State University to take some marks and get used to the track. They also attended the annual student-athletes banquet where Coach George Williams and Coach Sandy Chapman earned USTFCCCA Track And Field Regional Honors. Coach Sandy Chapman was elected Atlantic Region Women’s Indoor Track and Field Assistant Coach of the Year, and Coach Williams was elected Atlantic Region Women’s Indoor Track and Field Coach of the Year.

The Saint Augustine’s University Track and Field team has a reputation of winning. Saint Augustine’s University already own 39 NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championship titles. All under one coach, George Williams. Coming to the championships, the Falcons ranked 23rd will have to count on their 4 qualifiers to go get another crown. The Lady Falcons are ranked 16th, and have strong chances to get on the podium. A National Title would be their first since 2007. Amanda Crawford reported that Coach Williams told the Lady Falcons that if they were doing their job, he was confident about a win. All they had to do was win, win, and win!

On to the competition, friday, four Falcons enttered the competion. Tshipopo on the long jump and high jump, Evans on the 200 series, Kalawan on the 400 series and Dill on the 800 series. All the runners stepped onto the finals chair, and Tshipopo got All-American in both of the events placing 5th in long jump with a new personal best jump of 6.06m (19 feet 8 ¼ inches), and running in between high jump and long jump, she managed to place 8th in high jump with a mark of 1.71m (5’6 feet).

Saturday, March 10th marking the last day of Indoor Track and Field Nationals, all Falcons were competing. The first on the track was Tshipopo. Unfortunately, she didn’t make the finals, and placed 11th. Postponed, being novice in the triple jump world, she has everything to learn about it. “I started triple jump 3 weeks ago because they needed somebody at Conference on it. Nerver tripled before in my life, I didn’t really know what to expect. I ended up doing alright, I qualified for Nationals, it was a surprise for everybody. I did my best, I just think I need more experience to be able to make it to the finals next time. Just stay tuned!”, she shared. The defending National Champion, Shaquille Dill, finished 4th of the 800 with a time of 1’46″64. Dontarian Evan placed 7th at the 200 with 21″48. Jumonne Exeter made it to the finals in triple jump, and placed 6th with a triple bond of 40-4 ¾

inches. Jumonne dissapointed by his performance shared that he felt unsatisfied because he wasn’t able to execute his jumps. Dakarai Hightower only placed 9th of high jump.

On the brighter side, Shannon Kalawan, freshmen, got herself a National crown at the 400 meter dash. Her first NCAA Indoor National, Kalawan wins the gold. Ranked 5th enterring the competition, Kalawan fought to the finish line to run her personal best of 54″54 and get the National Title. It is the 42nd national title that Saint Augustine’s University wins. “It felt good to win, knowing that I am just a freshmen, and this is my first Indoor Naionals. It was really unexpected. I worked and stayed focus through the rounds, and it paid.” The Lady Falcons 4*4 got the silver trophy. They ran a time of 3’43″09 to be able to step on the second highest march of the podium.

In total, the Falcons came back with 8 All-American Honors. The Indoor season being over, it is time for the Outdoor seaon to start. We will find The Falcons competing at UNC Charlotte on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th.

Aside

Pep Rally at Saint Augustine’s University

 

This Friday, we had our first Pep Rally of the season. First home football game against Bowie State. Go Falcons!

The Saint Augustine’s Students were, as usual, well present for this event. One thing about the students here, they are always ready to have fun, and to support their teams.

The Pep Rally started at 12 on this Friday 15th. While the football team was waiting inside Martin Luther King, Jr Mall, the students were posted in front of the building, patiently waiting for the event to start. Of course, a DJ was here, and he made everybody dance on some old school music, and some more recent. And when I say everybody was dancing, even our elder ones were on it. The host of the Pep Rally was the student London Bishop. Mrs. Davis was making sure that the event was broadcast on Instagram, and Dr. Ward, our President, took time to show us his dance skills.

We had as entertainment our musical troupe: The superior Sound Marching Band with their dancers and our cheerleaders. The Blue chips cheerleaders opened the ceremony with success, followed then by the musicians and the Sapphire Dancers. It was a wonderful show that the whole school enjoyed.

After a big show from the dancers and the musicians, the football team, dressed up with their respective jerseys, finally made its entrance cheered by the whole student body. A good way to show some love to our football team for their first home game against the Bulldogs.

Moreover, in support of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, several students, had their head shaved to raise funds for the children’s cancer research.

Lauranne.