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Sunny Leiden Science Run for refugee-students

Under a sunny sky 44 teams completed the Leiden Science Run this weekend. They raised as much as 3450 euros for refugee-students’ association UAF.

The second edition of the Leiden Science Run took place on Saturday 21 October. The Science Run is a relay race of 5 kilometres through the Bio Science Park. The Faculty of Science, the University Sports Centre and Currimus running association are the organisers of this sponsor run.

No storm, but sun

A total of 188 persons enrolled for the race; contestants originated from countries ranging from China, Germany, Italy, Syria and Congo, and of course the Netherlands. A team of refugee students from the Meeting Point for Refugee Students also joined in. Due to injuries and the predicted storm, 44 teams of four people eventually ran the match. Luckily the storm didn't come to pass, and just before the warming-up even the sun made an appearance. Science dean Geert de Snoo kicked-off the race shortly after noon.


Team 'Significantly Faster' of Currimus running association finished first; members Maikel Stolwijk, Lorenzo Sinteur, Patrick van de Zanden and Mariska Brittijn together took 1 hour, 9 minutes and 16 seconds for their 20 kilometers. The fastest individual contestant was Lorenzo Sinteur of the same team. He completed his 5 kilometers in 16 minutes and 14 seconds. Leiden-born Sinteur: ‘I was asked for the race by the captain of 'Significantly faster'. She was looking for a few quick runners to help the team to win. And win we did!’


All teams paid a participation fee of 20 euros and also recruited sponsors. The organisation also sold sweatbands, of which the full proceeds went to UAF. Team 'Running Buffer' collected the most money: 330 euros. Rianne Hofstraat, Tom van der Laan, Nuria Slijkhuis and Nelus Schoeman of the Systems Biomedicine and Pharmacology group of medicine research institute LACDR all asked their family and colleagues to sponsor them. 'When a week before the race the preliminary ranking of the secured team donations was announced, we were at the top, but then we dropped back. We are of course very proud that we have collected this amount for charity!' The team also had a small LACDR battle during the run. 'Another team from our department also competed in the Science Run. It was a close finish, Nelus won by just 10 seconds,' said Van der Laan.

Together with dean Geert de Snoo, Biology student and Science Run participant Lesage Munyemana handed out the prizes on behalf of UAF. The race could have been 5 kilometers longer, remarked Munyemana. He was also full of praise. 'This is almost a symbolic event. Refugees sometimes literally run for their lives. Today you have run for the refugees. That is beautiful.'

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