What started as a small idea with just my half marathon class running their “Final Exam,” eventually blossomed into #UMWRun4Boston, and then turned into an amazing day! My heart is still racing from an incredible event, and I wanted to take a moment to share with everyone about what special people we have on our campus. I am still unsure of the exact numbers right now, and not sure we will ever really know, but it had to be near 250 runners and another 50 or so spectators. Up to this point we have collected almost $900 for One Fund Boston, and we are still waiting on the proceeds from the meal vouchers that our corporate partners over at Home Team Grill handed out. We will also be including any proceeds from selling the remaining available tshirts to faculty and the student body.
This morning started off at 7:15 as we arrived at the Hanover Rec field and started to set up the registration/waiver/donation tables under the tent. Next we had to stretch roughly 200 yards of extension cords to get the PA system going to address the growing crowd. After getting everyone situated for the group photo with our sign, we had the entire group of runners and spectators line up on either side of the fitness trail to create a human channel of energy. My half marathon class started down at the Battleground parking lot and waited for the starting horn. And then they were off. We had a lead “gator” car with a film crew in the back to document the start of the run (after editing we will share the video).
The energy was palpable! This was the first “race” many of the members of my class have ever participated in. As they entered through the channel, our student-athletes, club team members, members of the community and friends were clapping, cheering and simply just whooping it up. After the class members zipped by the rest of the participants followed suit and the mass of humanity was on the trail. The smiles on all of their faces will be etched in my heart for a long time! I have participated in and have been a spectator in some of the bigger road races in the country – this by far was one of the more unique and special starts I have ever seen. This will be a memory that the members of the community and most of all our students at UMW will never forget.
I want to thank so many people for making #UMWRun4Boston come together in such outstanding fashion.
Christenson, UMW Student – for putting forth an idea,
organizing the facebook event page and constantly updating along
· Mark Mermelstein -for navigating all the red tape and making sure the logistics were perfect.
· Sam Burris – for helping with extra tables, extension cords, use of the gator and helping with clean up.
· Lindsey Elliot, FH Head Coach – setting up the D field press box and playing DJ for a bit · Burke Sporting Goods – for donating $1000 worth of tshirts
· Malcolm Holmes, in marketing – for paying for the rest of the tshirts
· Club sports – for helping with set up, getting waivers signed, etc.
· All of the UMW Administration that gave the green light for this event (on very short notice!)
· Deena Bissell, athletic trainer, for being on sight to aid any that got injured (0 injuries!) · Clint Often – for providing the PA system
· Brynn Boyer – for helping publicize this event
· Jason Kilby, Men’s Soccer – For inspiring with his flash of speed!
· UMW Public Safety – for opening up the rest rooms, stopping by at the beginning to coordinate with event staff in case something came up
· I want to thank the following teams/groups that had representation today – Men’s Basketball, Women’s tennis, Women’s Club Soccer, Swimming, Field Hockey, Track/Cross Country, Men’s Soccer, Women’s Basketball, Men’s Rugby, Men’s Baseball, Women’s Rugby, Women’s Varsity Soccer (I might have missed one or two) It was amazing to see so many UMW students at 9:00am on a Saturday before finals!
· The 50 or so members of the UMW Community that came out and interacted with our student body and donated to a great charitable cause.
This was a completely unforgettable day for the Division of Student Affairs and more importantly for the entire UMW Community. I could not be more proud to say that I am an Eagle.
-Corey Hewson,Women's Soccer Coach