I’ve always viewed running as an aesthetic sport: the physical grace of well-formed running strides, the sense of connectedness to nature on an outdoor trail run, the euphoria of a runner’s high, and the satisfaction of setting and achieving personal goals. Prior to my time at Yale SOM, I ran for these reasons and for physical fitness. However, since my matriculation to New Haven, running has taken on an additional dimension for me, becoming a means of forging camaraderie and community, making the sport doubly rewarding.
On a hot August morning during SOM orientation, while running a route I affectionately call the “East Rock Snake,” I crossed paths with some classmates from my Red Cohort who share a passion for running. They decided to join me on my next run, and that’s how the Red Cohort Run Squad was born. Since then, we’ve embarked on miles of New Haven trail runs before our morning Accounting and Economics classes. While I’ve always felt a sense of accomplishment starting my day with a good workout, I gain even greater satisfaction from soul-soothing Red Cohort Runs and the sharing of casual conversation with fellow cohorts who have become some of my closest friends at SOM.
When Red Cohort classmate Anishaa Sivakumar ’25 MD/MBA shared her involvement in the !ANDA! 5K for HAVEN Free Clinic, the squad was immediately eager to participate. We quickly gathered several classmates to form an official team. Those classmates who saw themselves more as spectators than runners found creative ways to contribute. Our Red Cohort representative, Adam Tang ’25, organized a Red Cohort charity poker night, where ten students participated in a fun game night, vying for the grand prize of a meal prepared by Adam himself. All the proceeds from the buy-ins went directly to our Red Cohort 5K Team's running fund. Thanks to everyone’s generosity, the team raised over $500 in donations.
On race day, the sense of camaraderie was palpable. It was an incredible experience to unite with classmates and members of the New Haven community, all in the name of a good cause. Moments like these remind me why I chose to attend the Yale School of Management. Beyond the unquestionably strong academics and post-MBA career opportunities, SOM has provided me an environment that fosters close connections at Yale and beyond.
The meetings of the Red Cohort run club paid off: on an already uplifting day, it was an amazing feeling to finish the run as the first woman across the line. Equally exciting was my classmate, Alex Eve ’25, finishing second among the men, and several other SOM friends achieving personal records during the race. While conquering the physical challenge of a well-run race was rewarding, the true winner of the day was the New Haven community. I take pride in being part of the !ANDA! 5K that raised over $28,000 for the HAVEN Free Clinic. This exemplifies the power of numbers and community.
I write this with a newfound perspective on the true beauty of running and the power it holds in bringing people from diverse backgrounds and experiences together to endeavor challenge. What was once an individual sport that fueled my inner competitiveness has transformed into strides of partnership and purpose. I eagerly anticipate the ongoing extension of community through this incredible sport that has transformed my blood from running just red to Red Cohort red!