After taking shelter from a welcome afternoon rainstorm, the Daraja girls—wearing their new Bay to Breakers t-shirts—burst out from the starting line with smiles and cheers for the first ever Daraja Lap-A-Thon on Sunday afternoon.

The girls were pumped up from the beginning with news that Kenyan runner and winner of last year’s Bay to Breakers run, Lineth Chepkurui, was participating in this year’s race for them and Daraja Academy. (Check out the video!)

They ran 28 laps of a 400-metre track with support from each other, their teachers, and Daraja staff and volunteers on campus. They were further encouraged knowing how many more supporters around the world were cheering them on!

The girls were strong from the start, with few showing fatigue until about halfway through the race. At around the same time some of the girls started kicking their sneakers off to the side of the track, more comfortable running barefoot than with ‘heavy’ shoes. As the going got more difficult, runners held hands around the circuit, splitting up only to get their race cards punched before quickly regrouping.