This morning, as I ran in the already sweltering heat, my pride in being a part of the community that is MIS, swelled up in me. The day began bright and early at the Gymkhana with instructions and directions for the run being given by the organizer, Mr. Luscombe, who had been busy the previous day checking the route, putting up signs and recruiting marshals. Each runner was assigned a number, which was proudly attached to his or her chest. There was a choice of route: 5 kilometres or 10. I sheepishly chose the 5 kilometres route, knowing I’d be lucky to make even this relatively short distance the whole way at a run. However, there were many brave souls of varying ages and both sexes who opted proudly for the 10 kilometres. A priority before setting off was to get an order in for the ‘Full English’ on return. The thought of a deliciously hearty breakfast was to keep many of us going as the heat became more intense and our legs began to resemble poles of iron to be dragged around reluctantly. As I let go of all my cares, allowing my self to become engulfed in the warmth and happiness of this Sunday’s special atmosphere I became gradually aware of the colours and beauty surrounding me. I slowed to a meander, lingering under the shade of the trees below the majestic Uluguru Mountains, dressed in the many shades of spring, so splendid on this crystal clear day, waiting for the perfect photo opportunities I was sure would come my way. I was not disappointed. A multitude of diverse runners passed me by: the determined, toned and trained athletes: the heroes and heroines of our recent successful sports day; the little people scarcely reaching as high as my thighs, and so delightfully adorable I wanted to hug them; the mothers and fathers breathlessly supporting their excited offspring, each as proud as the other; the older children hand in hand with their younger classmates tugging them along as they gently uttered words of encouragement; the young, entrepreneurial ‘boda boda’ drivers riding up and down, scouring the road for the fainthearted, hoping to make some extra money; Mr. Gibbins in the ‘Noah’ scooping up the vanquished, betrayed by their legs, but yet still happy and rightfully proud in the knowledge of their fortitude and tenacity: they did not stay home in bed, wasting precious youthful moments as the morning slowly disappeared never to return; and finally a mother, there for her older daughter, pushing a pram with her younger daughter, both determined to be a part of this memorable day.
This event was about participation, and reflected the mission statement of MIS: ‘empower young people with skills and knowledge to build confidence, take pride in what they do and contribute to the global community.’
Our thanks go to all the parents and children who took the time to support their school by sharing in this magical morning. Our congratulations go to Joseph in year 11 who was the first to finish the 10 kilometres and to Bruce, also in year 11 who finished first in the 5 kilometres.
We invite you all to join us again for the next fun run which we hope will be even more successful than this one.
By Jackie Jones (French teacher)