Pumpkin? Check. Carving tools? Check. Running shoes? Check.
The Keene State College Recreational Sports department hosted their 9th annual Pumpkin 5K run. Taking place on the Friday of Pumpkin Fest weekend, the 5K event is planned to work with the campus and the events going on.
“We just wanted to have another event for the campus,” Director of Recreational Sports, Lynne Andrews, said.
According to Andrews, any and all students, faculty and staff were allowed to participate.
“We’ve had really good turnouts in the past—our highest participation was over one hundred and eighty participants,” Andrews said.
“It’s an event we created in conjunction with the Pumpkin Lobotomy,” Andrews explained.
“We knew a lot of students would be on campus that weekend, so we just piggy-backed on the Pumpkin Fest events and the Pumpkin Lobotomy.”
The Pumpkin Lobotomy, sponsored by KSC Student Government, started at 2:00 p.m. on Friday and ended at 5:00 p.m. Andrews said the 5K participants had a seamless transition to the Lobotomy.
“We start at 2:30, when most people are starting the Pumpkin Lobotomy, and we finish right before the quad, so people can go right over to the quad and carve pumpkins and just be involved with that.”
Recreational Athletic Coordinator and Event Facility Manager, Katie Stewart, said there was plenty of time for runners to get to the lobotomy after the race ended.
“The first people are in around twenty-one minutes, and if any cross country runners are in it, they tend to finish around eighteen minutes.” Stewart, who has worked four races prior to this year, said that the high number of people on campus is another reason why the 5K is a success.
Stewart also expected a decent turnout this year. “We had one hundred and sixty [participants] sign up, and I think we have five to ten alumni registered.”
However, Andrews said that the event is not heavily focused on alumni. “Alumni [participation] is a handful, at best. It’s mostly students and we have a good number of faculty and staff that run as well.”
The weather the day of the event is also a factor for how many people show up. According to Andrews, when the weather hinders the race, it also hinders turnout.
“If we get rained out and postpone it, the turnout isn’t as good, most people tend to have other things going on that next week.”
Andrews said doing the 5K on the day of the event yields the highest turnouts.
KSC senior Tory Rysnik competed in the race and was looking forward to the opportunity to run.
“I’m really looking forward to it this year,” said Rysnik.
“It’s a really fun event. I like doing 5K’s. I think they’re fun to do and they’re a great way to stay in shape.” According to KSC Recreational Sports, the race started in front of the gym and brought contestants around the Owl Athletic Complex and back to campus.
The event was free to participate in, and the first 150 people who registered for the run got a free t-shirt.
Ray Waldron can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org