The Navy’s orders to students on the lakefill Sunday: just run.
Roughly 40 people participated in Northwestern’s Navy ROTC’s first “5k Fun Run.” They ran, jogged and walked by Lake Michigan – two laps around the entire lakefill, then one around the northern part of it – to raise money for troops wounded overseas.
“We’re all about physical fitness, so what better way to convey that than [by] putting on a race?” said Medill sophomore Lindsay Schafer, an ROTC student.
The event raised money by charging participants entry fees – $10 for registering before the event, $15 for registering the day of the race. The proceeds went to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, which assists members of the Navy and Marines injured while fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Planning for the Fun Run began when school started in the fall, said Weinberg Navy ROTC junior Brian Apel. Weinberg junior Charlie Matykiewicz organized the Fun Run, but couldn’t attend the day of the race so Apel oversaw the event. Navy ROTC students set up a table with Gatorade jugs and first-aid kits for the runners, and chalked the course’s pavement with slogans like “Go Navy!” and “Support our troops!” They also took down runner’s times at the finish line and shouted words of encouragement as participants jogged by.
The race began at noon. McCormick junior Nathan Farber was the first person to cross the finish line, with a time of 17 minutes and 36 seconds. Though he competed in track and cross country in high school, he said he hadn’t seriously run for a few years.
“I really didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “I kind of just wanted to see what kind of shape I’m in.”
Loyola University Chicago sophomore Victoria Slatt, wearing a sweatshirt and pants, walked the course with her friends. She said a friend of hers in Marine ROTC told her about the Fun Run.
“Even though we’re not dressed in running shorts and sports bras and iPods, we’re here for the troops in Iraq,” she said.
Photos by Tom Giratikanon.