After taking shelter from a welcome afternoon rainstorm, the Daraja girls—wearing their new Bay to Breakers t-shirts—burst out from the starting line with smiles and cheers for the first ever Daraja Lap-A-Thon on Sunday afternoon.
The girls were pumped up from the beginning with news that Kenyan runner and winner of last year’s Bay to Breakers run, Lineth Chepkurui, was participating in this year’s race for them and Daraja Academy. (Check out the video!)
They ran 28 laps of a 400-metre track with support from each other, their teachers, and Daraja staff and volunteers on campus. They were further encouraged knowing how many more supporters around the world were cheering them on!
The girls were strong from the start, with few showing fatigue until about halfway through the race. At around the same time some of the girls started kicking their sneakers off to the side of the track, more comfortable running barefoot than with ‘heavy’ shoes. As the going got more difficult, runners held hands around the circuit, splitting up only to get their race cards punched before quickly regrouping.
When the girls completed their 28th and final lap, there were cheers, hugs and congratulations all around. First to cross the line was Form 2 student Lisayo, followed closely by Irene W. from Form 1. Another Form 1 student, Lillian, finished third.
This event was extremely special for them because it gave the students a chance to raise money for the first time. It was very empowering for the girls and it is an important aspect that we hope to continue to implement in the future. Thank you to the donors from around the world that helped make history at the first ever Daraja Lap-a-thon!