Looking back: Students take ‘footsteps to inspire’ with Manipal Runners’ Club2 min read
MANIPAL: Running and fitness enthusiasts gathered early on Sunday morning as Manipal Runners’ Club (MRC) held its third edition of its ‘Footsteps to Inspire’ run, in support of survivors of sexual assault and violence on August 4, at Malpe Beach.
The first edition took place three years ago, when rape survivor Claire McFarlene visited Manipal. Almost 20 years ago, McFarlene was raped and sexually assaulted as a student. She then began to fight the French judicial system and won the case after eight years. With the want change the global opinion on sexual violence, McFarlene started running for 16 kilometres along the shores of beaches across the world. She has visited roughly 150 countries till date.
Following her visit to Manipal, MRC conducted ‘Footsteps to Inspire’ in October 2016, a run aimed at raising conversations and questions about sexual violence. The second edition of the same was conducted in July 2018.
The 2019 edition saw about 150 participants, with both experienced and inexperienced runners. Participants had the option of running either a 5K or a 10K, at the end of which each participant was presented with a medal. The run alongside the beach provided a scenic route, despite the fact that the weather played spoilsport for a considerable duration of the run. Third-year Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT) student, Aditya Ramesh, said, “I’m excited for the run. I’m not too experienced, with only a 10K under my belt, but I wanted to try barefoot running in this run. I’ll be running the 10K today as well.”
“At first, it was smooth sailing and the weather felt good. The volunteers and other runners really pushed me to finish those last 1500 meters which were really hard. I liked the initiative of the run, and the scenic route really helped,” said Kshitij Chaudhary, a first-year MIT student.
After finishing the run, the runners could cool off at the shores of the beach before Dr Anitha Shivaji, Associate Professor of Forensic Medicine at Kasturba Medical College (KMC), addressed the group. Dr Shivaji owns a centre that treats survivors of sexual assault and violence, addressed the gathered on the effects of facing such a crime, and what a patient usually struggles with on having been assaulted. She stressed on the fact that the community, as a whole, should stand with these survivors, and encourage individuals to seek treatment.
Featured Image Courtesy: Tejaswini Srihari
Edited by: Nayanatara Jacob