Just as Penn State does, every year, Shippensburg University’s Mini-Thon set up its third 5k and first glow run since SU started.
The event was held at the Shippensburg Township Park, right across from the back entrance of Shippensburg University.
Registration started Friday at 6:30 p.m. but the preparations started much sooner.
At 5:30 p.m., lights could be seen, going up around the large pavilion, showing the runners where registration would begin.
The SU group also made sure that signs were placed at the right spots and the track was set up correctly.
The track ran from the sidewalk, between the two pavilions, up toward Britton Road, looped around to come down toward the smaller pavilion along the sidewalk, behind the parking lot, across the entrance to the park, and back down to where the track originally started.
As they were checking the track, the runners started to walk in, all grabbing glow sticks and most showing up in neon colored clothing, all to show how excited they were to run.
Some showed up wearing face paint, such as Zach Lassack, Megan Doleschal and Katie Foytik, who had an American flag, blue lightning bolts and cat face paint. They said, “We did this because we could.”
Mary Grace Keller, another runner, said she was doing the 5k, “because cancer sucks and I wanted to help a good cause.” She also said how excited she was to run before the race started.
Emily Howell, who would later go on to win the 5k, said, “I love to run and help a good cause.”
The race started at 7:15 p.m., with all the runners lining up at the start line.
The rain was coming down as the group members explained the 5k course and that they would need to complete it four times.
With the final preparations complete, the runners took off.
The dark emphasized the large groups of glow sticks, vaguely outlining each person running.
As they ran, glow sticks could be seen pulling ahead of others, while other groups were content with just walking.
While the runners kept going, despite the rain, Maura Coyne, the mini-thon’s coordinator, commented on the fact that it was hard work to get the event together.
She also mentioned how this was the first year of the glow run to attract attention.
She wanted to bring in even more people to participate than in past years and, as she looked across the course, with a smile on her face, commented on how good it was to see that everything turned out well.
After everyone got into their cars and left drenched, the group cleaned up, more than pleased with how this year’s 5k turned out and were already looking forward to next year.
SU mini-thon is a club dedicated to raising money for the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey’s Children’s Hospital.
For more information about mini-thon, visit http://shipmini-thon.weebly.com.