Last Sunday, nearly 530 students, staff members and alumni entered the Erasmus Charity Run, which was part of the Rotterdam Marathon. The EUR contingent was the largest team to participate in the running event. Around 500 of them ran the quarter marathon, while some 30 runners went the whole distance. In preparation for the Charity Run, the participants could even count on professional support from the University.

Raising funds

The participants didn’t just enter the Charity Run for the athletic challenge. The event is also intended to raise funds for the Erasmus Education Fund. This fund provides scholarships to disadvantaged but talented young people in other countries so that they can enrol at EUR. In addition, through the Charity Run, EUR hopes to encourage students and staff to engage in physical exercise, and an international group of student volunteers help to organise the marathon.

Hang in there

One of the participants in the Charity Run was 21-year-old Business Information Management student Claudio Corti from Italy. He ran the entire marathon, and found it a tremendous challenge. An enthusiastic gym member, football player and swimmer, Claudio previously took part in the 15-km Rotterdamse Bruggenloop run. He had ‘prepared very well for the marathon’.

Indeed, Corti was hoping to complete the run in 3 hours and 20 minutes. However, he was unable to achieve this time due to an injury. “After 29 km, someone stepped on my foot and I twisted my knee, which needed to be strapped up. At that point, they told me I ‘couldn’t continue’, but I did anyway. It was precisely because I was running for charity that I was determined to hang in there – rather than be branded a ‘quitter’.”

Team spirit and superstar

Indeed, the Run’s charity aspect was a key reason for Claudio to participate in the event. And like his father, he wanted to experience what it’s like to run in a big marathon. His friends had recommended entering the Charity Run, since that way, ‘he could do something good’. He was particularly impressed by the strong team spirit during the marathon, both within his own group and along the route. “I felt like a superstar, because everyone was cheering me on.”

On to new marathons

Despite his ordeal during the recent run, Claudio plans to run more marathons in the years ahead. “The rewards – in the shape of a good feeling about myself and a medal – were definitely worth the pain.” According to Corti, the key to completing the marathon lies in three things: training three times a week, eating a lot of pasta and never stop running during the marathon itself.

Over EUR 15,000 has presently been raised by the Charity Run. The organisers will be presenting the cheque to Erasmus Trustfonds, which manages the Education Fund, this Thursday.