A Run For Impact
They say the early bird catches the worm. The long awaited day finally rolled in and people started streaming in as early as 5.50 a.m. with an aim to ensure that we #ElimishaStratizen. Heavy downpour the previous day coupled with a chilly morning left the grass dewy. The warmup session got underway. At 7.08 a.m., Mrs Musundi, Chair, University Council, flagged off the runners. With the Vice Chancellor Designate at the front; alongside Paralympics world champion Henry Wanyoike with his guide Paul Wanyoike, the runners set forth to conquer the track. They were escorted by police officers and three ambulances, two from AAR and one from St. John Ambulance. With safety assured, all that was left was for the runners to follow the path to victory.
The track, which stretched from the Strathmore sports complex to the Galleria mall roundabout, saw the runners face an uphill climb. The climb upwards forced the runners to brave the uphill climb til the summit. Majority of the runners ascended slowly and steadily to avoid burning out their energy. The descent saw runners have a bit of an increased yet steady pace. With fatigue setting in, the air grew thinner as the runners progressed. The true uphill task was finishing the race. Back at the sports complex, volunteer students from the St. John Ambulance were on standby to receive the finishers of the run and provide them with refreshments and first aid services. AAR Healthcare were also ready with a team of physiotherapists and an emergency response team to help relieve the runners of any pain suffered during the race.
Last year’s race
After the completion of the first edition of the Vice Chancellor’s Run, amidst the return to normalcy after the pandemic, a second one was sure to follow. The first edition saw people run 17 km in honour of the 17th graduation. The idea behind the run is to raise money for the scholarship fund, which supports gifted learners who cannot afford to pay the school fees. The appropriately named ‘Vice Chancellor’s run’ is championed by the Vice Chancellor Designate himself, Dr. Vincent Ogutu, in collaboration with the Strathmore University Foundation.
The second edition was bigger than the previous one; it saw the number of runners increase exponentially. It also had branded T-shirts going up for sale as a way of increasing contributions. We also saw an increase in distance for the runners from 17 km to 18km, in honour of the 18th graduation that is set to take place later this year. We also had a 5 km run for those who could not do the full stretch. With the bar set a little higher this year, the runners had to push themselves harder to complete the challenge. There were training sessions at the Sports complex to help the competitors prepare for the run. As we edged closer to the day of the run, runners got more and more prepared to face the task ahead of them.
The 5km runners began trickling in 30 minutes after the start of the race, led by the fittingly named Zoezi Maisha. He was then followed by a group of 3 students; Yashvi Bhadania, Phillip Karoki, and Mark Muigai. Yashvi crossed the finish line second but was the first lady to complete the race. Phillip Karoki, the Sports Executive in the 13th Student Council followed in third place, while Mark Muigai came in fourth. Children were not left behind as Milan Dundi completed the 5km run at 8.10 a.m.
An hour after the flag off of of the 18km run, the athletes rolled in, sweaty and panting. Alex Mambo crossed the finish line at 8.15 a.m., closely followed by Joseph Juma clocking 8.16 a.m., Nicholas Mwiti at 8:20 a.m., Gor Tirus at 8:22 a.m., Michael Odero at 8:24 a.m., Tuzo Jonathan at 8:25 a.m., Braiton Okungu at 8.27a.m., Rakuteen Victor at 8.27 a.m., Sidney Kairu at 8:28 a.m. and Isaiah closing off the top 10 finishers at 8.29 a.m.
Outstanding performances were recorded by Nyambura Ngugi and Alice Lagerhammar, who managed an impressive finishing time at 9.00 a.m. and 9.05 a.m., respectively, making them the first women to complete the run. Runners kept coming in up to the last second. It was evident that everyone was running their own race but the finish line was one.
We say congratulations to all the winners and those that participated in the race. For some people, glory was the goal, for others it was for fun. In the end, every step we took made it possible for us to achieve our goal to run for impact.
Deep gratitude to our sponsors and partners: Adrian Kenya Ltd; Run Beyond, Capital FM Kenya, for providing media coverage; St. John’s Ambulance and AAR Hospital, who donated emergency medical services. We would also like to thank Tropical Heat and Coca cola, who provided snacks and drinks that nourished and replenished energy spent in the run, for the second year running. We would also like to thank the police services and Sekura who worked hand in hand to ensure there was security throughout the event on and off the track. The support given went a long way in ensuring that students get a chance to secure an education, which to many is termed as the ultimate equaliser.
Through the support of all our sponsors, staff and students, the #VCRun contributed more than 1.2 million to the scholarship funds as of the day of the run. We would like to thank all who supported us through the journey. As our motto goes Ut Omnes Unum Sint, it is clear that we are all one big family, whose members care for each other.
You can still contribute here: https://vcrun.strathmore.edu/ or use Pay Bill 988666 and Acc No: VC Run
This article was written by Jemmy Kamau and Ted Iha, a Bachelor of Arts in Communication student.
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