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Successful comeback for Leiden Science Run: 65 teams raise 9400 euros for refugee students

Athletic achievements, enthusiastic supporters and a beautiful donation for charity: on Saturday 15 April, the Leiden Bio Science Park was the setting for the 5th edition of the Leiden Science Run. All this was accompanied by bright sunshine. ‘What a joy to be part of!’

Exciting music echoes across the courtyard of the Gorlaeus building. People who normally work here are now jumping around in running clothes (or penguin suits). Standing still is not an option as Natascha van Nieuwenhuizen of the University Sports Centre provides the warm-up. Once warmed up, DJ Simon Looman's music lures the teams towards start/finish.

Cheering at the Bio Science Park

In front of the Snellius building, Rector magnificus Hester Bijl and Dean Jasper Knoester encourage everyone once more. With a firm push on the horn, they send off the first runners of each team. Each of them will run five kilometres across the Leiden Bio Science Park and through Oestgeest. At the end of their lap, the crowd welcomes them back to Niels Bohrweg amid loud cheers, and it is the turn of the next of the team. Team members who are not running, as well as family, friends and colleagues, cheer them on.

Aftermovie Leiden Science Run 2023

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Flying over the course

After just one hour and 19 minutes, the fourth runner from team LUMC - Gorter MRI crossed the finish line. This makes them the fastest team of the day. In second place are the ladies of the student running association Currimus. Team DDS4: Don't be scared finishes third.

Team LUMC - Gorter MRI sets fastest team time

Carmen from Currimus is the fastest of the day

Carmen Oosterkamp runs the 5 kilometres in just 17 minutes and 16 seconds. This makes the Medicine student not only the fastest lady, but also the fastest runner of the whole day. ‘I enjoyed it very much. With a great team and lovely sunshine, it was the perfect day to run a great time.’

Carmen Oosterkamp from team Currimus (right) starts the fastest lap of the day

Oosterkamp has been training at Currimus for three years. ‘During that time, I have been running faster and faster and I also met my boyfriend.' Although she is happy with her time, she hopes to go even faster in the future. ‘I am very proud of my first place, and of course even prouder of the great team performance we achieved!’

With 17 minutes and 57 seconds, Bart de Vos from the LUMC is the fastest male. He is a double winner, as he was also part of the fastest team.


Ryan Westernacher-Schneider with his four medals

Four medals for this post-doc

Ryan Westernacher-Schneider takes home no less than four medals. The post-doc of the Observatory formed a one-man team and thus completed the five-kilometre course four times. Attributes such as a wig or stick-on moustache made him look slightly different each lap. ‘I had never run twenty kilometres before, so I thought it was a nice challenge to give that a try.’

The cake goes to BiosanaPharma

Team BiosanaPharma raised a whopping 940 euros for UAF

However, it is not just about fast times, but also about maximising the final amount for charity. Therefore, there is a cake for the team that managed to raise the most sponsor money. This year, that goes to the BiosanaPharma Continuous Runners. They raised a whopping 940 euros. Team The Diamagnetic D-Block Dashers for Charity also deserves special mention. They came second with a total of 730 euros.

More than 9 thousand euros for the UAF

And then the most important moment of the day: the unveiling of the final amount. UAF director Fatimazhra Belhirch is present to receive the cheque. The audience waits in suspense. Bijl and Knoester spin the cheque: 9291.80 euros! Belhirch is grateful: ‘For us, every euro matters. It allows us to help students build a sustainable life here in the Netherlands.’

With the money deposited later in the day, the total final amount comes to €9451.80.

Director of UAF Fatimazhra Belhirch accepts the cheque

From head to tail a joyous celebration

The dean is also enthusiastic: ‘From head to tail, this was a joyous festivity. What a joy to take part in. Hats off to the organisation and everyone who helped!’

Tired but satisfied, everyone heads home. Time for a good shower and a good rest. But not for too long, of course. Because next year there will be another Leiden Science Run. And then we will go for even faster times.

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