We are so proud to have two teams of Moriah runners participating in the Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon on Sunday.
Both teams have spent months training and are raising money for incredibly worthwhile causes that have personal significance.
Read on to discover each team’s inspiring story, and find out how you can help them…
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’.”
Now, the team, who chose the name ‘Running for Carli’, includes four Moriah staff members and four students. On Sunday, they will collectively run 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 already raised more than $30,000 of their $50,000 target, and the journey to this point hasn’t all been smooth sailing.
“We’ve all been sick during training and I’ve been injured,” says Yang, still smiling in spite of it all. “For 10 days recently, 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.'”
Monday, 20 May 2019 – Well done, team!
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 will be running the 11.5km relay component of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Half Marathon on Sunday – 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 will be 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, will be running the full 21km instead of the relay. When asked if he trains with his mum, though, Gabriel shook his head.
“Mum can’t keep up, so I train with the boys on my team,” he said. “I couldn’t do the long distance like she does, though.”
Gabriel’s five teammates are also Moriah students, and the six boys are pulling out all the stops to prepare for the challenge ahead and raise as much money as they can for the charity.
They also want to wish everyone running the race good luck.
“I think no matter what charity you run for it’s good, because it’s going somewhere where it’s meaningful. And this charity is meaningful for my family.”
Monday, 20 May 2019 – Well done, team!
About the Author
Amy Jones is the Communications and Content Coordinator at Moriah College in Queens Park, NSW.