A Running Start To The End of Poverty
by Jose Calpito

GK Singapore’s second annual Run To Build was already causing quite a stir around the Singapore community weeks prior to the event. Registrations came flooding down GK Singapore’s office door steps that exceeded all their expec-tations. With the number of participants growing each day, the large quantity of runners was also accompanied with an overwhelming response of volunteers willing to contribute at hand for a worthy cause.

A week before the event, GK Singapore held a volunteer’s meeting for the many helping hands on board - where volun-teers, who ranged from students to adults, were separated to their designated responsibilities. From the race marshals to the water team, all were keen in making Run To Build a suc-cessful event. With their heads held up high and roles des-ignated, the meeting ended in anticipation for a busy but memorable Sunday in the following week.

And so the day of the race arrived. With the race marshals and other volunteers in place, runners from different ethnicities gathered together on July 20 2014 at Bedok Reservoir Park at seven o’clock to participate in the fun run. The hype was defi-nitely real as music and buzz resonated through the breezy air as participants lined up with their GK orange shirts and Nike kicks to take part in the day’s event. With runners from Fin-land to the UK and volunteers ranging from the Philippines to our very own Singapore, everyone was ready to start as they all came together in personifying Gawad Kalinga’s vision for the race: One World, One Race and One Goal.

With the sound of a buzzer, the pool of 8.6km and 4.3 km run-ners at the starting line soon dispersed and the participants sprinted ahead. An explosion of excitement arose, so much so that volunteers and runners themselves began screech-ing cheers of motivation for one another as the race went on. Some runners even came up late but strived to make up for their lost in time as they hoped to catch up.

As the race entered its final stretch, runners came and went at their own pace as the large cheers continued to help strive in their run along the long and winding loop of Bedok Reservoir Park. Winners of each category were evident as they ran past the starting line with pure ease with the rest following.

As time passed and the race finally coming to an end, all the participants exhausted. The runners (and volunteers!) were rewarded with water and small snacks at the end of race. The feeling of euphoria had yet to erode despite the race coming to an end. The music continued to play along the background as the first, second and third place winners were announced in great pride whilst others clapped in jubilee with their water bottles and snacks in hand.

With the race a huge success, GK Singapore have the run-ners, volunteers to thank for all the help they have done in ensuring a successful event. Leaving no stone left unturned, it only seems fitting to also acknowledge that the contributions would not have been made possible without the help of the GK Singapore Board and Staff - as the organisation of the fun run was the tip of the iceberg in their major scheme in the long race in ending poverty in the Philippines.