Stride 4 Senegal

Junior Alexander Elortegui is the first runner to complete the Stride for Senegal 5K.

Hannah Cordes, Sports Editor

On March 1, 2014 at 6:45 am Tropical Park was filled with students preparing for their 3.1 mile stride for Senegal. This year, seniors Cole Scanlon, Javier Fernandez, and Tia Plagata have started Stride 4 Senegal a 5K run that works alongside IBHS to combine their 5K with the annual walkathon, Bridge For Peace. What started out as a CAS project turned into an event involving the entire school and community. Students from IBHS, NHS, Gables Earth, and more attended the event as volunteers, runners, and guides. The volunteers did jobs such as helping people park, serving food to the runners who finished, and cheering people along the way.

“It was an experience that I won’t forget, it felt good and made me realize how much we take for granted. It’s definitely great to know that one special cause can bring us all together as one whole,” freshman, and volunteer, Guneet Moihdeen said.

This treacherous 5k consisted of two water stops, many twists and turns, and people cheering along the course. The participants weren’t forced to run; many people choose to walk while others decided to run. Sophomore Alex Elortegui and freshman Alexis Clay were definitely running. These two speedy runners won the 1st place positions for the fastest male and female participants. Alex Elortegui finished the race right under 18 minutes, and Alexis Clay wasn’t far behind with a time of 22 minutes as the first female across the finish line.

“The run was great. Running always makes me happy, and I enjoyed being with friends. It was all for a good cause too, I would do it again,” freshman, and female winner, Alexis Clay said.

Leading up to the run, students in the IB program filled out pledge forms, trying to gain support for the cause. Freshmen and sophomores were required to gather one pledge, turning in a minimum of $25 while juniors and seniors were required two pledges. An iPad Mini was gifted to the student who gathered the most pledges, motivating students to support the 5K run alongside the community. Overall, the person with the most pledges was Allison Pena and she raised $1,500 worth of pledges!

“I got people who run and do 5k runs regularly. And I went to MAST Academy, where Keaton[Dr. Scanlon’s daughter] graduated, so people there did it not only for Africa, but for Keaton too,” iPad winner, sophomore Allison Pena said.

The efforts of every participant  helped in reaching and exceeding the goal of $15,000. The large sum that was raised will be donated to a village in Senegal, Thabekaare. Not only will the donation affect Thiabekaare, it will affect neighboring villages and help make living in a third world country a little easier.

“It feels amazing to have made such a difference for them. This money to us seems like just a number, but it will change so many lives in their by providing clean drinking water. We had originally planned on helping Thiabekaare build their community garden, but with all of the money we raised, we have enough to build a forage for the village. That means that they will be able to pump clean water from underground, and it will relieve them from walking to the river each day for water,” senior Tia Plagata said.

The event was a unifying occurrence that helped to make a difference in the world. Proven by the smiles seen throughout the morning, it is suffice to say that the experience was one that will be held close to heart for a long while. Volunteers, runners, and donors came together to help a cause that will benefit at large from just one morning run.