CAMPUS: The ultimate distanced sport: Bruins enjoy running to stay safe and healthy


Courtesy of Brett Hall

PE teacher Brett Hall (far right) poses with his running friends (from left to right) Jeff Eisenman, Beau Van Zante, Mike Helms and Brad Boz on the El Sereno trail in Monte Sereno, Los Gatos.

SCHS students and staff have a wide variety of hobbies and interests, but with COVID-19, some of these activities are hindered or outright canceled. Running, however, is a pastime that many members of the Bruin community have engaged in since the beginning of the pandemic and can continue to enjoy safely.

“I have been running for around eight-ish months,” senior Jannah Khan said. “My dad and I run at a time where there is barely anyone on the trail (Bay Trail).”

For Khan, the closing of her local gym due to COVID restrictions caused her to start running with her father and younger sister. Running alone has its upsides as well, she said.

“I enjoy running because I get to listen to music, and running is sort of my alone time … where I can organize my thoughts and problems in my mind,” Khan said. “Running helps me clearly hear my thoughts without any distractions.”

For sophomore Leslie Castillo Maravilla, running has a deeper meaning than just a hobby or a way to clear her mind. Maravilla has been running for 10 years, and when she lived in El Salvador, where she is originally from, she would race in competitions. Running marked her move to America.

“A few days before coming to the USA, I was very sad because I was going to leave all my friends in my country,” Maravilla said. “So with my friends, we decided to run across the street until we reached a tree where we met on Fridays. We cried and said goodbye. That was a beautiful moment that was kept in my heart.”

Unfortunately for Maravilla, extra precautions surrounding COVID have taken this hobby away.

“I have not been able to run in these days of COVID because I live with my 92-year-old great-grandmother, and I do not want to put her at risk,” Maravilla said.

Students are not the only ones who run. Physical education teacher Brett Hall enjoys running in his free time.

“I have been running since I was really young,” Hall said. “Growing up, I had ADHD, so to get me to settle down, my father would have me cross-train.”

Hall completes over five miles at a time. Unlike Maravilla, COVID has benefitted his personal running habits.

“I have a group of friends that love to run trails with me early in the mornings,” Hall said. “So we will get out there at 5 a.m. and run different trails in Los Gatos, Cupertino and Fremont.”

Hall said running is also great for the mind and has other benefits aside from the physical aspects of the sport.

“When I get to the top of a mountain for a sunrise or to see a view, it’s great,” Hall said. “But the main part that interests me is the challenge to get there.”

Like Hall, science teacher Sara Carvalho enjoys running and has been participating in the sport for about eight years with some of her colleagues. For Carvalho, the pandemic has improved her running habits.

“I am able to run more since I am at home and school starts later. I can go for longer runs in the morning now, or run out right after school is over,” Carvalho said. “COVID has led to me being more consistent.”

While some running habits have suffered in the pandemic and others have flourished, most runners still love their sport and feel it provides them more than just exercise.

“Running is an important part of my life. It fills me with unforgettable memories. It encourages me to dream and say that everything is possible,” Maravilla said. “Running for me is not only an exercise, it is a way of feeling free.”