This archived article was written by:
USU Eastern’s Office of Residence Life and the SUN Center sponsored the first ever “Run A Mile in Their Shoes” 5k on March 1. The program involved college students, avid 5k runners, and members in the local community.
Jeff Spears, director of residence life, said, “This is the first time the residence halls has extended an invitation to the local community to join an event this year. We hope to continue this trend in the future as community support is important to the success of the college.”
The registration for the 5k was a pair of new/used shoes to be donated to the Community Clothing Closet. This organization has aided members in the local community with needed clothing items and alleviate the financial burden for families. There were quite a few runners that donated multiple pairs of shoes. In all, three boxes and two full industrial garbage bags full of shoes were collected from the participants.
“The program originated from the RAs during a brainstorming session for program ideas in January,” said Spears. The RAs, SUN Center volunteers and hall directors started planning the activity in early February. “This type of activity took careful planning by multiple people/departments: shirt ideas, route planning, police for traffic, hydration stations and participant registration. There were about 20 people in key roles to make sure the 5k ran smoothly.”
The route has been used in prior 5ks sponsored by Carbon High School and will be used again by USU Eastern in subsequent years. The shoes were thrown in trees near the BDAC to symbolize the importance of the event. The hanging shoes in the trees represented the need for donations to the Community Clothing Closet and problems facing the local community with securing a vital resource: clothing.
The participation was tremendous given the time of year and only weeks to prepare for the 5k. There were about 84 participants at the program and 20 were avid 5k runners in Carbon County. Some of the runners used the activity as a tune-up for the 5k season.
“We did everything we possibly could to advertise for this event. We utilized local radio time, posted flyers in small businesses, recruited participants in the student center/residence halls and sent about 60 letters to a list of 5k runners in the local area.”
Multiple participants were impressed with the quality of the program. When asked if USU Eastern would sponsor another 5k next year Spears responded, “Of course we will consider this event for next year. We want each hall to sponsor a community event and invite participation from students and residents from the local area. In fact, we are planning the 5k to take place in the fall closer to the start of the academic year and when it is a little warmer.”
What will be changed next year? Spears answered, “I think we want to exceed 84 participants and also more advertising for the event. We have even thought about adding small stop watches for the participants to use in the 5k and also for future races. I also think we want to continue the focus on local issues in Carbon and Emery County as a reason for the 5k.” The SUN Center and the Office of Residence Life at USU Eastern would like to thank the participants of the 5k and to look for the event again next year.