Moriah students run for a cause

 

Two Moriah College teams have taken part in the Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon, following months of training and raising money for worthwhile causes that have personal significance.

The event took place on 19 May 2019. The teams raised money for mental health charity Batyr (team Running for Carli) and Running for Premature Babies) – both causes close to their hearts.

Running for Carli

For Moriah teacher Yang Weinberger, it all started with a simple suggestion from a colleague as they crossed paths on school grounds, “You should do the Sydney Morning Herald half marathon with us,” said Corey.

Yang laughed and shook her head. She liked to run a couple of times a week, 2-3km at a time. A 21km half marathon, though? “No. Not happening,” Yang laughed in reply.

Yet, later that night, the conversation kept coming back to her.

“I always preach a growth mindset to my students,” says Yang. “And I thought it was time to start putting that into action myself. So, I looked up the SMH Half Marathon online and I was delighted to discover there’s a relay component, where you can split the distance between two people.”

After talking a friend into doing the relay with her, Yang had another important task to complete before starting her training; deciding which of the 900 charities to run for. Not for the first time, her thoughts turned to her close friend and former colleague, Carli Freiberg.

Carli, who was an ex-student and teacher at Moriah, sadly lost her ongoing battle with mental illness in December last year.

“Throughout her life, she’d always been very vocal about breaking the stigma around mental health issues,” says Yang. “She’d worked with an organisation called Batyr whose mantra is to let the ‘elephant in the room’ be spoken about, to talk about mental health. Because the more we talk about it, the more we normalise it.”

Yang did a quick search for Batyr on the SMH half marathon website and was thrilled when she found it was one of the charities listed.

At school, Yang shared anecdotes about her training with her students.

“They started asking me what run I was doing and who I was running for,” Yang says. “When I told them I was running to honour Carli’s memory, they were really touched. Carli had been their House mentor when they were younger and a few of them asked if they could join the team. Of course, I said ‘the more, the merrier’.”

The team, who chose the name ‘Running for Carli’, included four Moriah staff members and four students. They collectively ran more than 100km in honour of their former colleague and teacher, and to raise funds for Batyr. For every $20 raised, a young person will be able to participate in Batyr’s school program.

The team has raised more than $33,700, and the journey to the start line wasn’t all smooth sailing.

“We were all sick during training and I was injured at one point,” says Yang, still smiling in spite of it all. “For 10 days shortly before the run, I couldn’t do any training at all. Normally, I would beat myself up about it, but I thought, you know what? It’s ok. It’s fine. I’ll get there. Because there’s always an alternative, there’s always an option B. Always.”

Donate to Running for Carli

 

Running for Premature Babies

Year 8 student, Gabriel Ben, is a young man with a big heart, whose start in life wasn’t easy, and came far sooner than expected. You see, Gabriel was born two months and two weeks premature.

He and his family were immediately taken to a different hospital, which had the equipment needed to save his life. That is why he committed to running the 11.5km relay component of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Half Marathon – to help raise vital funds for the charity, Running for Premature Babies.

“The charity provides specialist equipment, like incubators to hospitals to help premature babies and their families,” explains Gabriel. “This is the third year I’ve run the Half Marathon for Running for Premature Babies. My parents have run it for the last six years.”

This year, Gabriel’s mum, Marsha, ran the full 21km instead of the relay. When asked if he trained with his mum, though, Gabriel shook his head.

“Mum can’t keep up, so I trained with the boys on my team,” he said. “I couldn’t do the long distance like she does, though.”

Gabriel’s five teammates were also Moriah students, and the six boys pulled out all the stops to prepare for the challenge of the Half Marathon and raise more than $4300 for the charity.

“I think no matter what charity you run for it’s good, because it’s going somewhere where it’s meaningful,” says Gabriel. “And this charity is meaningful for my family.”

Donate to Running for Premature Babies

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