An energized crowd warmed its insides with free coffee and warmed its muscles with jumping jacks in preparation for a run Saturday at Northrop Mall.
The 5K Run for Research had approximately 375 participants. “5K” denoted not only the race’s distance but also the amount raised – $5,000 for cystic fibrosis research, said Greg Tehven, who helped organize the event.
Motivation for the fund-raiser surfaced in the fall when he and fellow University students Kate Gustafson and Brian Peterson were participating in a different run off campus, he said.
The three students enlisted the support of student organization Students Today, Leaders Forever and the College of Liberal Arts Student Board.
When deciding where to donate the proceeds, Gustafson said, she was quick to suggest cystic fibrosis research. The genetic disease hits a personal note with Gustafson, she said, because her best friend’s sister, Chelsea Votel, has cystic fibrosis.
Votel participated in the run with many of her supporters, who donned bright yellow shirts that read, “I Love CV.”
A sea of green attire accompanied the swarm of yellow shirts as the runners participated in a side competition to see who could wear the most green before the race. Judged by crowd feedback, Katie Lo, a senior at the University, won the side competition and a prize of free Chipotle food for 10 people.
Prizes of $300, $150 and $50 went to first-, second- and third-place finishers, respectively. Kelly Mortenson crossed the line first, followed by second-year medical student Andrew Peltier.
In addition to the minimum donation of $10 required by all the participants, Jerry Rinehart, University associate vice provost for student affairs, agreed to contribute $1 for every runner who beat him. His donation ended up totaling $305.
Overall, Gustafson said, she was “pleasantly surprised with the big turnout, not only by the runners, but also with the volunteers. Without all of the volunteers, the event would never have been such a success.”
Gustafson said plans for next year’s run are already in the works.