Correction appended: April 24, 2012.
In the first Beaver Stadium run to take place since the death of late football coach Joe Paterno, more than $270,000 was raised for the Special Olympics, an organization near and dear to Paterno’s heart.
This year’s total more than tripled the $83,000 raised last year.
The total wasn’t the only thing that increased during the third annual race. The number of runners who laced up their sneakers — about 3,200, doubled in number from last year’s 1,600 participants, despite brisk air and cloudy skies Sunday morning.
The run, which is the culmination of Blue-White Weekend events, began in front of the Bryce Jordan Center, wound through campus and finished on the 50-yard line in Beaver Stadium.
Lauren Perrotti , student race coordinator, said this year the money raised made Beaver Stadium Run the largest fundraiser in the state for Special Olympics Pennsylvania.
Perrotti (senior-Spanish and Italian) said the total will likely increase by a few thousand dollars once race day registrations are calculated.
As runners and walkers crossed the finish line, many recalled the memories of Joe Paterno.
Many runners sported blue and white “Team Paterno” shirt and said that this was his first time participating in the Beaver Stadium Run, though he would most definitely be back next year.
The overall winner of the 5K race, Mike Williams, said that he was happy to support the Special Olympics and also honor the late head football coach Joe Paterno.
Williams (senior-marketing), a member of Penn State’s club cross-country team, won the race with a time of 16:21.
And despite the loss of Joe Paterno, the Paterno family continues to show their support to Special Olympics Pennsylvania.
Jay Paterno stood on the sidelines cheering on four of his five children that ran the 5K race. He said his youngest child, who is only 4 years old, will join the race in the future.
Jay Paterno also said it is encouraging to see so many people coming out to support the cause, especially in remembrance of his father.
“It shows that his message of reaching out to people continues to resonate,” he said.
A caption for a photo of Jay Paterno on page 1 of the Monday, April 23, 2012 issue of The Daily Collegian incorrectly stated information about the event where he was speaking. The event was the 2012 Special Olympics Pennsylvania Beaver Stadium Run
In Honor of Joe Paterno. The Daily Collegian apologizes for this error. The photos and article above reflect the correct information.