By Dalia Benson (’19)

On December 3, SDJA hosted a 5 kilometer Fun Run with the intention of raising funds for the athletics program. Students had different motivations for attending, but many woke up early on a Sunday morning because of one teacher’s offer for extra credit.

AP Macroeconomics teacher, Mrs. Benson, is a long distance runner and encouraged her students to accompany her in running the 5 Kilometers. The students would gain extra points both for showing up and if they managed to beat her to the finish line. Benson explained her motivation behind the offer: “My students need to log off, shut down, and go run. They should run to experience the beauty of the outdoors, so that they can get fit and healthy, while also feeling good about themselves.”

Medals up for grabs for all attendees. Photo: Coach Chambers

One of Mrs Benson’s students, Jose Galicot (‘19) says, “I wanted to beat my Economics teacher, Mrs Benson, in the race, so I could get 5 extra credit points in my AP Macroeconomics class.” But that wasn’t the only reason why he attended the race. He continued: “It is a nice experience with all my friends, as we can all run together and have fun.”

Others students, such as  Moriah Seymann (19’) and Kayla Schwartzberg (‘21), were less motivated by Mrs. Benson’s extra credit points and more by the experience. Seymann (‘19) says, “I do ISPE, but I still wanted to get involved and support the SDJA athletics program.” Schwartzberg agreed and added, “I think that the fun run is a great way to get out with your family and friends and support SDJA, as well as support the athletics department, as that is pretty important.” Schwartzberg was one of the masterminds behind the Fun Run. She “helped create the idea” during one cross country practice in collaboration with Coach Chambers.  

Ilan Leisorek (‘20) attended the race last month and surprisingly reached the finish line before Mrs Benson, with a time of 21:20. “I didn’t think I would beat her since I have not run a 5K since cross country last year, so I did not think I was in the condition to beat her,” Leisorek stated. He continued, “Going up the hill I had to push myself a lot to get a good space between myself and Mrs. Benson.”

Ilan Leisorek (’20) just a stride away from finishing first. Photo: Coach Chambers

Cross country and track and field coach, Carol Ann Chambers, organized and put the event together. “I was extremely happy with how the event turned out as we were able to acquire some great sponsors, and we had an amazing group of participants join us on event day,” stated Coach Chambers. Chambers confirmed that this was only the beginning of Fun Runs organized by SDJA and hopes “to grow the event so that we have a huge number of participants from both SDJA, and the San Diego community.”


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