The 40th running of Colorado State University’s annual Homecoming 5K Race will be quite different from the 39 pervious versions of the popular run.
First off, the race will be virtual, meaning that the tradition of starting and finishing on the historic Oval and touring much of campus in between is being paused for a year. Runners and walkers are being invited to create their own 5K course, record their finishing time and submit it virtually to race officials.
Second, if you don’t like getting up early on an autumn Saturday morning to run a race, you don’t have to. You can log your 3.1 miles on any day at any time during the last week in September and the first week in October, as long as you submit your finishing time by 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 3.
“We started thinking about what the 40th race might look like back in May,” said Barry Braun, department head and professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Science and executive director of CSU’s Human Performance Clinical Research Lab. “Originally, we thought we might be able to run it in the traditional way, but by August we decided to go all-virtual.”
It turns out, that fits in well with CSU’s (Stay)Homecoming theme for this year’s Homecoming and Family Weekend.
“The runners who really care about a competitive time and placing high are less happy about these virtual races,” said Braun. “But the Homecoming Race, by and large, is not that type of race. In a typical year, most people who participate just want to be on the Oval, see campus and reminisce about what makes CSU special to them. We’ll miss that feeling of being together this year, but wherever people are participating, we hope they feel connected to CSU.”
Same great shirts, same great cause
Two things have not changed.
First, Braun said participants will still get the coveted long-sleeve T-shirts that have become a big part of the race’s tradition. The artwork on the shirt will be somewhat understated – a nod to the times – but the high-quality shirts are still unique. Out-of-town participants can opt to have a shirt shipped to them at home for a small fee.
Second, proceeds from the race will continue to support the Fitness Therapy for Cancer Program, a community program in CSU’s Department of Health and Exercise Science providing a supportive, group-based exercise program for cancer survivors at any phase of their cancer journey.
Registration is $20 for CSU students and $25 for faculty, staff, alumni and community members.
“The exciting aspect of this year’s race is that our alumni all over the world can participate, whether they’re in Schenectady or Scandinavia,” Braun said. “This is a chance to do something where you feel connected to campus, to fellow alumni and the community. Those opportunities are few and far between this year.”