Each year, ISM introduces new events and activities to foster a positive environment for learning and fun. This year was no exception. From 6pm on the 5th of February to 6am on the 6th, ISM hosted its first “Run to the Sun,” wherein Bearcats ran with enthusiasm and determination till the sun rose – and for a good cause.
In order to participate in the charity event, students had to organize a maximum of 12 people and raise funds worth 12,000 pesos that would contribute to various charitable causes. On the evening of February 5th, each team kick-started this adventure by sending one of its members, baton in hand, around the track after which the batons would be passed on to the next runner of the team and so on. Through this, each participating student was given some healthy exercise and a much needed break.
The inspiration for this event spurs for an interesting story which Mr. Hall, an organizer of the event shared with us. “Three things spurred on the idea whilst we were having a meandering chat over a coffee. Firstly, we were talking about how awesome it is that the school does so many great things to raise money for service partners, like BoB. We then talked about how running seems to be taking over the Philippines, with 10k runs seemingly happening every weekend somewhere in the city. We finally chatted about how we enjoyed long runs that tested the mental and physical extremes of the human body. Somewhere among the midst of this melting of ideas, we came up with an idea: how about a long run held by ISM that raised money for service partners? Hence the RttS was born” says Mr. Hall.
Mr. Venhuis, who accompanied by Mr. Hall in organizing the event, explains, “the vision is to have as many people running/walking around the track as possible. Everyone can join! It doesn’t matter if you’re a runner or not, you still can walk and be active.” He also shared that approximately 200,000 pesos have been raised for charity.
For junior participant Kushagra Sharma, funding a good cause was just one of the event’s many perks. He shared, “I really wanted to do something with all my friends, kind of like a sleepover. So, Run to the Sun seemed like the perfect opportunity!” Prior to the event, Kushagra anticipated that “the event [would] probably be a tremendous success because it is something really different” and “presents an exciting way to give back to society!”
It seems that his anticipation was accurate and high school chemistry teacher Andrew Mawer can confirm. Mr. Mawer attributes the success of the event to the fact that it “brought together members of the whole ISM community, including students and teachers from both High School and Middle School, along with parents. With lots of cheering and some great fancy dress, there was also plenty of Bearcat spirit on display.” He further added that the event “captured the carnival-like, celebratory atmosphere of the great distance races” and hopes it inspires students to catch the running “bug.”
Another junior participant, Maud Weaver, who walked non-stop for the full twelve hours, reflects on the experience of running itself: “Suddenly it’s 3 in the morning you’ve been going for 9 hours, everything hurts, you’ve been paying attention to every drop in temperature from when you started at 31 degrees and now it’s 26 degrees, and never in your life have [you] ever appreciated the simple thought of just sitting down.” While their insight reveals how much pain and difficulty defined the experience, Maud looks back at it positively and goes on to appreciate that anyone can participate in Run to the Sun. Although the event was certainly challenging, dogged determination can all but make up for it.