Community runs to help Whitewater

By Abrielle Backhaus

By Shakeva Oliver

 

The weather was sunny with a brisk morning chill on September 20. Crowds of people arrived early at Whitewater High School for the Discover Whitewater Series, also known as Run Whitewater.

Run Whitewater is a series of running events sponsored by more than 80 community businesses and organizations.

The races started around 8 a.m. and included a half marathon, a half marathon relay and a 5K run. There were more than 700 runners in the events and more than 430 volunteers who made the event possible. Over 130 kids participated in the mile-long Fit Kid Shuffle. Run Whitewater also partnered with the University’s College of Education for the Kids Korral, a small event for younger kids, most of whom attend day care on campus.

Among the participants were our own Chancellor Beverly Kopper Athletic; Director Amy Edmonds and first-time, half marathon runner Faith Salentine.

“I’ve run a lot of different 5Ks, I love to run, so I wanted to challenge myself in doing a half-marathon,” Salentine said.

Salentine said she appreciated the organization of the event. There were cones outlining the entire race, with people cheering along all the runners.

“Around mile 10 and 11 there was a huge hill so it was really not fun, but along the hill they had written ‘keep going’  like inspirational stuff with chalk all up the long hill, so that was really cute,” Salentine said.

This was Discover Whitewater Series’ third year hosting this event.

A majority of the volunteers were students hailing from different orgs like the Dance Company, Women’s Basketball, and some Greek orgs. This year, the race was certified to be worth Homecoming points to UW-Whitewater students. Discover Whitewater Series also is now a sponsor of the Homecoming variety show.

“I’m honored to be associated with a group that does things well. Whitewater is truly a great community,” said Executive Director Jeff Knight. “We really couldn’t do it without the University and the help of the students. Our purpose is to grow to a regional event.”

Proceeds of the race go to Deck the Halls, W3, the Whitewater School District, the Aquatic Center, and the UW-W Athletic Department.

The night before the race, participants were served with a pasta dinner sponsored by Chartwells while they registered and picked up their packets. The day of the race, participants enjoyed a free hot pancake breakfast sponsored by the Kiwanis Club.

“I love it,” Knight said “There is a real passion here. It’s not the runners or the volunteers that make the event a success. It’s the relationship of the organizers and volunteers that make it such a welcoming event.”

To see more of Run Whitewater, visit RoyalPurpleNews.com or Facebook.com/RoyalPurpleNews