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Record sum Leiden Science Run for refugee scholars

The Leiden Science Run 2019 has raised a record sum of 12,135 euros for refugee student foundation UAF. No less than 101 teams – also a record – and the sponsors CORPUS and Janssen Biologics raised the amount.

Raining cats and dogs

In the previous three editions the weather was always brilliant, this year the participants had to brave all kinds of weather. After an energetic warming-up to music, Rector Magnificus Carel Stolker and interim Dean Hubertus Irth gave the starting signal at exactly twelve o'clock. The 101 teams of 4 runners each started the first round of the relay race in a heavy downpour. This year the route was 4.44 kilometers, a reference to the 444th anniversary of Leiden University. The participants ran for the first time through the vegetable gardens of Biologische Kwekerij de Groene Cirkel in Oegstgeest.

Leiden Bio Science Park and beyond

The teams were more diverse than ever before: there were teams from the LUMC, the Faculties of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Humanities, Law, and Governance and Global Affairs in The Hague. There were also many companies from the Leiden Bio Science Park, such as BaseClear, Mimetas, ZoBio and DuPont. Sponsors Janssen Biologics and CORPUS came with 8 and 3 teams respectively. Finally, research financier NWO was present with two running teams.

UAF: ‘We are grateful’

This year, the proceeds of the Science Run went to the UAF programme Scholars at Risk. The UAF itself was also present. Last year, project leader Remko de Kok promised to come with two teams for this edition, and with a men's and women's team his organization kept that promise. UAF Director Mardjan Seighali, who also ran: ‘We are grateful for the fantastic support. Freedom of thought, freedom of research, and the protection of scientists is extremely important.’

Winners

Just like last year, the running club Currimus supplied the winning team: team Currimus 1 ran the Science Run in a top time of 1:05:26, exactly 9 minutes faster than the second team. Teun Sweere of Currimus 1 was the fastest last year, this year he was beaten by someone from another team: Tijmen Koet of team Fast & Fysio's again ran the Science Run in 15:06. The fastest woman, Elena Egorova of team SCB 3, ran a time of 17:15. The team that raised the most money had a large share in the final result: team SOZ 4(44) Mobility raised no less than 1040.44 euros.

Pictures: Monique Shaw

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