This was the 45th Chapin Runathon and, as has been the case since the very beginning, it continued its evolution – this time because of Covid. Held on the weekend of May 14, 15 and 16, the 2021 Runathon was a hybrid; with current students kicking-off the weekend on campus before the entire event went virtual.
During the school day on Friday, May 14, students and faculty began the Runathon by walking around the campus together in their cohort groups. Then on Saturday and Sunday, everyone in the community was encouraged to walk, run, bike, swim, dance or take part in any other exercise and send in pictures of their activities. This virtual component enabled many alumni from all across the country and even internationally to join the fun.
The twin goals of Runathon are community building and community service. With all of the students participating on Friday, it was a rare opportunity (for this year) to have everyone engaged in one activity. One goal was participation – if enough folks took part, Head of School Barbara Pasteris would once again sleep on the roof of the building. The goal of 400 participants was easily surpassed and Mrs. Pasteris pitched her tent and greeted students from above when they arrived on Wednesday, May 19.
This year, proceeds from donations to the Runathon supported the Chapin Fund, Loaves & Fishes, and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The latter was chosen by Upper School students in Chapin’s Student Council, Honor Council and Character Committee.
Started by faculty member Steve Gingo, the first Runathon was held in 1976 and was a 24-hour marathon that featured participants sleeping in the gym between shifts on the course. Through the hard work of many members of the faculty and staff over the years, there have been multiple iterations of Runathon. It has most often been a one-day event on campus on either a Friday or Saturday in the spring. Safety protocols did not allow on-campus gathering in either 2020 or 2021. Whatever form it will take, everyone looks forward to the 2022 Runathon.