Unbeknownst to the Occidental community, members of the Residential Education and Housing Services (REHS) staff have run six half-marathons since last spring. They have participated in the San Luis Obispo Half Marathon, and the Rock-N-Roll Half Marathons in Los Angeles, San Jose, San Diego, Seattle and several other cities.
Director of REHS Chad Myers has run several marathons in recent years. It was his enthusiasm and commitment to the sport that brought the rest of the REHS office on board.
“During my training more and more of the ResEd staff started to get interested in running as well,” Myers said. “I did everything I could to convince people to try and run just a 10k or any smaller race. My persistence finally paid off and I got most of the office on the running bandwagon.”
As an office, they decided to train for the 2014 Hollywood Half-Marathon/5k for their first race. The team consisted of past assistant director Maria Hinton, assistant director for uper division housing Laura McNaughton, former graduate hall coordinator (GHC) Kevin Deschler, former GHC Rhea Richards and Myers. Though multiple staff members end up running the same races, they usually train individually.
The Occidental running community extends far beyond the REHS office. Associate Dean of Students Tim Chang frequently runs alongside the REHS team.
“I started [running] mainly to get in some exercise, but running can become boring without a goal so I decided to start training to run a half marathon,” Chang said. “I’d encourage everyone to try a half marathon once. The running community is very supportive and it is a very inexpensive activity.”
ITS (Information and Technology Services) Programmer and Analyst Benjie Castro began running more seriously in Nov. 2009, the day after Thanksgiving. In March 2010 he ran his first full marathon, and ran two more that same year.
“I’m not a competitive runner, I do it mostly for fun,” Castro said. “I wish I had discovered running sooner.”
Their hard work and dedication has turned these runners into sources of inspiration for staff members across Occidental’s campus.
“I look up to people like Benjie Castro––I think he’s run over 10 races this year––and Chad Myers,” Chang said.