Every year in January, KAUST hosts what is called the Winter Enrichment Program or "WEP" for short. During this time, they bring in people from around the world to speak, give demonstrations, organize workshops, and provide the community with interesting things to learn and do. Each year there is a theme, and most activities and speakers are related to this theme. This years' theme is "Human Machine Future" and some of the topics have been about things like cybersecurity, robotics, virtual reality, and sensors.
There are also enrichment activities that may or may not relate directly to the theme but are organized to simply enrich the lives of community members. For example, Eric was able to take part in a 3-day running academy hosted by Abdullah Al-Joud, a Saudi Olympian in running, during which he learned some valuable tips to improve his running time and technique.
This year, there was also a 5k/8k run for the community! It started at the Harbor Sports Club, looped down by the marina, went up around the island, and circled back to the HSC to finish on the track. The turn out was great - probably a couple hundred people (adults and kids) of varying levels of fitness participated. People ran, walked, pushed strollers, and I even saw a couple of kids rollerblading. There were people on the sides of the streets cheering everyone on, and the girl scouts manned the hydration stations. At the end, there was a bouncy house for kids along with music and awards to celebrate the achievements of those who participated. It was such a lovely community event that we wish they would do more often!
Check out our stats for the race! We both set personal records on this 5k, so I'd say it was a success!