The Chariots of Fire is an annual relay race for charity held in Cambridge. It follows the famous path taken in the movie of the same name which tells the story of Harold Abrahams, a Cambridge runner, and his bid to win a gold medal in the 1924 Olympics.
Fellow MELGEN student Sofia and I had decided that it would be the perfect opportunity for some MELGEN outreach activity, recruiting our PI, David Adams for the cause as well. We designed shirts with the MELGEN logo and a mascot mole (to remind people to keep an eye on their moles!) to run the race in. We also designed badges to give away after the race as part of the outreach activity. Dave, who was also running the race as part of the team, got a shirt and a badge as an official representative of MELGEN at the race.
Once Sofia, Dave and I had finished our respective legs of the race (in a highly respectable combined time of 38 minutes for covering 4.8 miles), we moved on to our actual reason for being there, which was to get in touch with the other people at the race. We spoke to several families and teams about the risks of UV exposures and reminded them about protecting themselves whilst in the sun (in reality, it was a typical cloudy and rainy English day) by using sunscreen. Sofia and I also discussed the work that we do as part of MELGEN in investigating the causes of melanoma and improving our understanding of the disease. We gave away the commemorative badges once we finished speaking to them and moved onto the next group.
As the last runners crossed the finish line, we also wrapped up our outreach activity as we finished talking to the few remaining people at the race and finally left to have a well deserved lunch.
Overall, the MELGEN outreach activity at the Chariots of Fire proved to be a fruitful endeavour. We (including Dave) are already looking forward to our next event!
– Aravind Sankar