Virtual 5K run held across Connecticut
Bernadotte Sufka – Features & Opinions Editor
A virtual 5K was held across Connecticut from Oct. 22-25, encouraging students to get out and run. Even during the new COVID-19 restrictions, it can still be held, but within an individual setting rather than students gathering in large groups to start the run.
“Our campus recreational and fitness department has been connecting with several of our other counterparts across Connecticut including Eastern, Western, Central, UConn and a handful of others,” said Assistant Director of the Fitness Center Jessica Scibek.
She said they wanted to do something collaborative and bring people together around activities such as recreational and fitness.
“One of the things the subcommittee pulled together were the actual logistics across colleges in Connecticut to do fitness and something fun. That’s where the Virtual 5K came from,” said Scibek.
She participated in the 5K as well with a time of 34 minutes and 15 seconds, a pace of 11 minutes and two seconds per mile.
Students were able to register for this event via OwlConnect, through the university’s recreational and fitness Instagram page or on the website itself at ctcollegiate5k.org. Those who registered and finished the 5K were able to post a picture of themselves and time recorded on Instagram using the hashtag, #CTrunstogether.
They offered five free registrations to students who commented on the post and say where they would run or walk. The post itself held the even amount of comments for free entries on the first come, first serve basis.
“On Instagram they promoted the advertisement for it, and I was interested in it because I’m a track athlete and I enjoy running,” said nursing major Maria Rita De Souza, a sophomore.
She said she was excited to run in it and one of the reasons why she applied and registered was because I enjoys doing distance running and for school spirit.
De Souza finished her 5K in 21 minutes and eight seconds with a paced of six minutes and 49 seconds per mile.
The event was new to the university and included an estimated 718 registrants from faculty/staff and alumni as well. There were even participants from Massachusetts who walked or ran.
“I saw the event on OwlConnect and Instagram,” said exercise science major, Elliott Via, a sophomore.
Via completed the 5K in 20 minutes and 10 seconds with a six minute and 30 second mile pace.
“I am excited to run it and I know exactly where I’m going to run; tomorrow, midafternoon and I’ll run the 5K at West Rock,” said Via.
A free t-shirt would also be given to participants who ran it and it would list the colleges that participated. The event was open for four days, from Oct. 22 to Oct. 25.
Next year, they plan on expanding this virtual 5K outside the state and collaborating more with other colleges to keep this virtual connection continuing.
“We’re happy to have so many people being active during this stressful period of midterms and chilly weather. We’re proud of all the students who did it,” said Scibek.
She said next month they plan to do a treadmill 5K event in person at the fitness center.
“We’ll have it open for a few days to have more people be available,” she said. “We’re still trying to make opportunities for students to be active and participate.”
The fitness center has more events coming for many people and will not come to an end, even during this time of COVID-19. For having this virtual 5K happen for the first time and be successful, events such as so will continue and be open to students.
“It was exciting to team up with other schools for the one purpose to get everybody moving and bring some positivity to what we can do versus all the stuff we can’t,” said Scibek.
Photo credit: http://www.ctcollegiate5k.org