Barefooted Braveheart: A Run for Awareness
Manipal: Manipal Runner’s Club (MRC) organised its first run of the semester, Footsteps to Inspire-Beach Run at Malpe Beach on Sunday, July 22. The run was organised in response to a call from Claire McFarlane, who, from her “Footsteps to Inspire” initiative, raises awareness of both victims and survivors of sexual assault and abuse.
The event, which saw the participation of first-timers as well as seasoned runners, was flagged off from the Manipal EDU Building, where the participants were gathered to board the bus to Malpe Beach for the run. The run comprised of two categories: the first being a shorter run for five kilometres, and the second being a longer, 16-kilometre run. There were marks for two-and-a-half kilometres and an eight-kilometres for the runners on the beach, where they would turn back as a halfway mark. Ideally organised on the sand, the extremely high tide at Malpe forced the participants to run on the road.
This run was organised with the motive of people to speak up about anything they suffered and help people to communicate and talk about this issue more openly. “This was a run which intends to tell the survivors that they are not alone in this fight,” said Rahul Konapur, president of the MRC.
Claire McFarlane, a victim of a brutal rape attack on the streets of Paris (where she was studying) in 1999, is completely dedicated to her cause, she plans to run over 10,000 kilometres in 184 countries. “Claire’s journey, by far, has been an inspiring one. Be it waging a 16-year battle against the government or running in every country, her determination and perseverance is something everyone should learn,” adds Rahul. Being a surfer herself, Claire got in touch with Ishita Malviya and Tushar Pathiyan, who were co-founders of the Shaka Surf Club at Kodi Bengre, and thus began her journey with Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE). She has run on beaches in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea among many. Claire believes running on the beaches has been extremely influential in healing her, and has also greatly helped her to find peace and solace.
With sixty people participating in 2016, the 2018 edition saw participants from different colleges across MAHE, from the School of Life Sciences (SOLS), Kasturba Medical College (KMC), Manipal College of Dental Sciences (MCODS) and the likes.
Featured Image Courtesy: Baisil Kunjumon
Edited by: Drishti Sanyal