The whole thing started at the beginning of 2017, when Edson, team captain of Patta Running Team, pitched one of his ideas to Nike. Nike loved it, the team loved it, Patta Running Team x ROCvA was born.

The goal of this project was to get students from ROC van Amsterdam into running, and help them from not running at all to running the half marathon of Amsterdam (21.1 KM) in 5 months. Not just by training hard and crossing physical and mental borders, but also by showing them how training in a team can help you reach this goal.

We started out with two try out runs of 5 KM, and selected 25 students to join the team. We trained 3 times a week, strength training at our partner Fysiomed, interval training on the track and a long distance run on Sunday. The team was trained by Patta Runningteam head coach Jay and various Patta Runningteam members.

Edson wanted the students to be treated like rockstars, so everyone got spoiled with new running gear and were all trained under the supervision of Fysiomed, who also takes care of top athletes in the Netherlands. Since Nike was playing a big part in this project, two of our students even got the opportunity to participate in the Hood to Coast relay race in Portland. Others got the chance to do an interview or a photoshoot. And last but definitely not least, there was the crew from Woodpack, shooting this documentary.

Getting all this free stuff and attention can make you loose your focus, but what we hoped happened. Wearing a team outfit, people being interested in what you do and all the attention around it made them more convinced to train harder and reach their goal.

Even though the team consisted of students from all different educations, interests and backgrounds, we could see and feel that running brought them together. They started encouraging each other from the very first training, no one was left behind. In September there was a 3 day training weekend where the team came together and felt like one big family, striving for the same goal.

On Sunday October 15th, 22 of our students ran and finished their first half marathon, 3 of them were injured and showed their crew love by cheering them towards the finish line.

We are thankful for the energy and love and humbleness that was put into this project by all people involved. Luckily for everyone, Woodpack was recording everything from the beginning till the end, so we can look back and share this story." - Story by Anniek Geven, Head of communication Patta Running Team.