When more than 2,200 runners line up on Colorado State University’s Oval, the annual Homecoming 5K will, somewhat surprisingly, be celebrating its 35th birthday.
It’s surprising because in 1980, the first time the race was run, only 30 runners bothered to show up for the trek through campus.
Today the Homecoming 5K stands alone on the busy Northern Colorado running calendar. From its very humble beginnings, the race is now the largest 5K in Fort Collins and among the biggest in the state.
Runners and walkers of all ages get the chance to tour campus as the flat course wind its way past Morgan Library, athletic facilities, residence halls and classrooms before concluding where it began on the beautiful Oval. The course even takes participants past the construction site of the on-campus stadium, which opens in 2017.
Splendid fall foliage on campus
Students have truly embraced the event with hundreds of them donning their best running attire to run 3.1 miles through campus at the height of its fall splendor.
Proceeds from the race benefit the Heart Disease Prevention Program of the Human Performance Clinical/Research Lab. This program, sponsored by CSU’s Department of Health and Exercise Science, provides screenings for all the risk factors for heart disease. This screening includes personal and family history, maximal treadmill test, and examination by a physician blood lipid analysis, body composition assessment, and much more.
This year’s race — which has become a huge part of CSU’s annual Homecoming celebration — is set for 8 a.m. Oct. 17. Registration is open online (hes.chhs.colostate.edu/outreach/homecoming), or you can sign up in person at Room B22, Moby B-Wing, 95 W. Plum St. on the CSU campus. Other registration locations include Altitude Running, 150 E. Harmony Road, Unit 2C; and Runners Roost, 2720 Council Tree Ave., Suite 112. Runners can also register on race day.
Preregistration by noon Oct. 16 is $30. Race-day registration is $35. Entry fee includes a long-sleeve T-shirt, which has become a race staple over the years.
The event also includes a free Kids Fun Run at 9 a.m.