The Keene State College community rallied together bright and early in order to support current students, as well as returning alumni.
This past Friday, Oct. 13, Keene State College hosted the KSC Owl 5k Fun Run/Walk, a community event that had students and alumni coming together.
The event kicked off at 2:30 p.m., with the starting line being at the Joyce Athletic Fields and coming to a finish right under the arch on Appian Way.
With last week being alumni weekend, the community celebrated one another through cheering and encouragement at the finish line of the run.
One of the volunteers at the Fun Run/Walk, KSC junior Daija Germain said, “It’s just a way, I think alumni and students now can get together and get exercise and to just work out. There’s a decent amount of students that are participating.”
The first place runner crossed the line in exactly 20 minutes. KSC senior and nutrition major Colton McCracken came sprinting up under the arch to the cheers of his friends and onlookers.
The excitement in the crowd was prominent as he was happily handed a T-shirt, refreshment and fresh apple.
With the first runner in, others began to pile in and more cheers surrounded their success.
The second place runner, senior Adam Teger, came running past the finish line shortly after. Teger said, “It feels pretty good honestly [to get second place]. I beat my initial best 5k time by like two or three minutes, so I feel pretty good right now. This is my first one, but I do practice 5ks, but this is my first official 5k.”
Not only does running allow someone to beat their personal record, but it also brings a community together who may not have known each other in the first place.
Teger added, “For me personally, meeting other runners, like the guy who smoked all of us in first place, it was kind of cool being like, ‘Yo man, what’s up, like do you run a lot? What do you do?’ Kind of a cool way to build a community between athletes and anyone who likes running.”
Two other Fun Run finishers, who are also a part of the KSC cross country team, Benjamin Macdonald, the third place winner, and Matt Dudley, another runner, gave their thoughts on the race. Macdonald, who placed third in the overall run, said, “We kind of just used it as a fun run and a cool way to run apart from our teams.”
Dudley added, “It is alumni weekend so it’s pretty cool to see all the people come back. It was just for fun and a cool way to jog around.”
With a sunny fall day, the mood was set for alumni weekend and for all the runners that participated in the Fun Run.
KSC co-president of the Live Well Health Club Montana Phipps said, “It connects [to the community] because physical activity can bring wellness to a community and really brings it together. It’s great, it …makes people happy, so it gives the community a healthy and happy feel.”
Phipps added, “I’m having fun. I used to run 5ks all the time, I used to run cross country in high school and I ran at Keene State for a little while, so it’s really cool to watch people run and go through what I went through. We [the Public Health Club] also helped put some apples out for people and just some snacks for the runners. It’s just really cool.”
With the KSC Owls 5k Fun Run/Walk being a great success, the community looked forward to “bringing runners together” and “creating a healthy and happy environment,” said Phipps.
Caroline Perry can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org