In these beautiful days of autumn, Born2Run event was one of the best things that happened for all the sport lovers and not only. The project, which included a youth exchange and 3 races of 3 and 10 km, brought together youngsters from all ethnicities and backgrounds as participants and/or volunteers. Born to Run Plus is a project implemented by Project2020 CIC together with Center for Intercultural Dialogue and supported by the Erasmus+ Programme. The Youth Exchange and the races were held in three locations: Lipkovo, Staro Nagorichane and Kumanovo.

Marc Tilley, a participant from Wales (UK), shared with us his opinion about Born to Run:

I really enjoyed this YE. I was lucky to attend last year in Kavadarci so it was really interesting to see it grow and move to a different place. Naturally, it’s always the people who make an experience memorable and, once again, the participants, organizers and volunteers were great; I don’t think I have a negative word to say about any of them. The weather wasn’t great but fortunately we were able to take advantage of the MultiКулти Youth Center whenever we need to get stuff done and, even though the last race didn’t go ahead as scheduled, we still managed to explore most of the city without buckets of paint and cardboard signs. My first experience in Macedonia, and with Project2020, was on this exchange last year. I’ve since become pretty involved with the organization and met a few faces from CID along the way so I jumped at the chance to take part again. Unfortunately, my work commitments got in the way of me doing the full exchange so I was only able to attend the last week. I got on really well with everyone and I’ll definitely stay in touch with most of the faces I met. I’m also told Kumanovo is when we had the best accommodation so I don’t have any complaints. The thing I enjoyed the most was coming back to Kumanovo (I visited briefly in the summer) and meeting a few friendly faces again. I felt super comfortable with the participants which was a big bonus, so I count myself pretty lucky to have been able to get to know them. Maybe if I’m lucky, a visit to their hometown in Italy is on the horizon? I’m hoping to fly back on the final weekend to run the postponed event which I’m excited about to! I really enjoy this kind of environment and I think I prefer slightly more chaotic and authentic places so I can’t say I found anything particularly difficult. If I wanted to be super-cheesy I could probably say that the goodbyes were the most difficult part, but I can’t bring myself to say that with a straight face so I’ll just say waking up at 3:30am to catch a taxi to the airport on the way back.

Also Enrico Ponto, a participant from Italy, mentioned:

It was my first youth exchange and I had really great impressions about the strong feeling the crew have built during the three weeks. The period was supposed to be very long but during the first few days we had the opportunity to know each other and start to feel and act not just like individuals but as team members. I was actually surprised by myself during this time since I’m usually a shy and introspective person; the good balance among the project mates was surely my motivation to do the best in the activities every day. I really liked to share my little world I brought with me from Italy, and listening and seeing the difference with other countries and cultures. I didn’t like sometimes seeing the other volunteers not having my same good impressions and feelings, but it is understandable in a so long exchange.

There were more than 20 winners in the races, but everyone who participated in any way in this 3-week event felt like a winner. People had fun and they enjoyed this event. It is clear now that Kumanovo needs more events like these, because people love sports and they were present in our races in a big number. We hope that this will not be the last one.