By OLIVIA BRIDGES
The rosy hues of the sun began to fade as 412 people from the University of Mary Washington and the Fredericksburg community gathered near the Bell Tower. Glowing figures covered with strokes of neon paint stood at the start line, in the evening hours, waiting excitedly for the clock to strike eight. As the run commenced, the rhythmic thumping of participants’ feet drowned out the music that was playing throughout Campus Walk for UMW’s 5k “Glow Run.”
The “Glow Run” took place on Wednesday of last week to celebrate the inauguration of President Troy Paino. The run also served as a way to collect 250 pounds of canned food for the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank.
Once runners checked-in they were given glow sticks. Some runners wore the glow stick as a bracelet or necklace, while others ran with it in their hand. After receiving glow sticks, runners were given a choice to choose a t-shirt in a variety of colors: neon pink, blue, yellow, orange and green. Snacks and drinks were also provided for the runners, before and after the run.
The members of UMW’s track and field team manned the check-in line. Ken Tyler, Director of Athletics, was in charge of the event.
“It’s a fun, healthy opportunity for all of us to come together and have a great time,” said Tyler. He also said that it was a great opportunity to celebrate President Paino’s inauguration.
Runners and walkers alike lined up behind the start line. The 5k started and ended outside Jefferson Hall.
President Paino said, “Ready, set, go,” then the race began. Paino also kindly set time aside during the event to sing happy birthday to his wife, Kelly Paino.
“It’s really exciting for everyone in the Mary Washington family to come together and celebrate being a part of this community,” said President Paino, “I feel honored to have an opportunity to lead the university and this is just a great celebration for all of us.”
Many students thought that the glow run was a great way to celebrate the inauguration. “I’m like really excited for it,” said freshman biology major, Baninder King. “Because it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now and it’s for a good cause, to celebrate our new president.”
Sophomore english major, Mackenzie Hard agreed. Hard thought that the glow run was a great way to get the people of the UMW community out and active. She only had one small issue with the event.
“It’s kind of hard just because it’s a little dark but also because there’s like lots of hills,” said Hard. “But other than that, it’s been a lot of fun especially having people to do it with.”
Participants of the “Glow Run” prepared for the 5k in different ways.
“I’m actually in a running class, that’s why I’m here,” said freshman computer science major, Joseph Bermingham. He goes on several 30 minute runs every week.
While some students prepared for the run, others did not.
“My soul is alive but my legs are not,” said sophomore history and elementary education major, Nikki McCormick. “I did not do any pre-training for this besides eat chocolate in my dorm before I came here.”
Whether the runners were prepared or not, everyone can agree that the race will be one to remember.
“It was really exciting, I think that I came out not knowing what to expect and there was a [huge] turnout [which] was really fun and energetic,” said junior psychology major, Allegra Massey-Elim.