The 12th Annual Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Dance Marathon 5K fundraiser will kick off THON’s first special event of the year with a running start this Saturday.
THON Media Relations Captain Megan Renaut said the THON 5K is one the many year-round events that are able to involve families of the Four Diamonds Fund and THON volunteers.
“By including a kid's race, a fun run and a competitive race, we are able to encourage everyone to sign up, no matter their ages or physical abilities,” Renaut (sophomore-psychology) said.
The kid’s race, fun run and competitive race are all different types of running events that will occur at different times during the THON FT5K. The kid’s race will begin at 11 a.m., and the competitive race will begin at 11:30 a.m.
“The kids race is geared toward the Four Diamonds children, while The Fun Run includes anyone who wants to run or walk at their own pace,” Renaut said. “So many families with children choose to walk this route.”
Renaut also said the kid’s race will have a Halloween theme, and participating children will be running in their costumes.
For those who wish to participate in any of the different types of runs, registration is open at store.thon.psu.edu/ft5k, or by logging onto the THON website, where a direct link to the registration form is on the front homepage.
The registration form includes a section where participants select what organization they will be running for, basic personal information, a selection for which race the person chooses to run in (i.e. competitive, fun run) and a liability checklist.
The cost to participate in the competitive race is $18, and the cost for the fun run is $15.
Lakshmi Kolandra, special events captain for THON 2013, said the THON 5k is a way to bring together the entire THON community to kick off the start of the fall semester and the THON season.
“The entire Penn State community is invited to the THON 5K. This means that THON Committee Members, Organization Members, Four Diamonds Families and staff, and the general Penn State community comes out to support our cause,” Kolandra (senior-immunology and infectious diseases) said. “It is also a way to show the Four Diamonds Families that we are there to support them at all times, not just THON weekend.”
Besides students and organizations having the opportunity to run competitively in the largest 5K race in central Pennsylvania, Renaut said students who register before October 11th will be able to credit their organization.
Other than the three different types of races occurring at the event, there are other components of the day that are geared toward spectators who come out for support.
“Spectators can expect to see a Family Speaker, a few entertainment acts, and of course a lot of music and games,” Kolandra said.
Special Events Captain Samantha Pappas said something new that the 700 estimated participants can look forward to this year as opposed in previous years is storage for their running items during the race.
As for competition, Pappas said there would be an accurate way to track the times of the runners during the race.
“Each runner will be given a chip. When the race begins at 11:30 a.m., competitive runners will get to begin at the front of the line, and as they run, the chip will keep track of the time,” Pappas (senior-nutrition) said.
Pappas said she is the most excited to see how all of the hard work THON has put into the event pays off in the end, but seeing the effect on the families is the most rewarding.
“It’s all about everyone come together, and seeing how the event has an effect on the Four Diamonds families,” Pappas said. “This is the first big event, and it contributes to the idea that everything comes together to make THON happen and a year long event.”