Be Well 5k brought in record numbers of participants, encouraged healthy habits
The popularity of the fourth annual Be Well Walk and Run was evident when event coordinators ran out of T-shirts to give to participants.
Free and open to the community, Friday’s event drew in crowds that exceeded coordinators’ expectations. With more than 600 participants, the event ran out of T-shirts, having only ordered 550 shirts to give to race-finishers.
Lisa Hoogesteger, the director for Healthy Campus Initiatives at Oregon State University, said the Be Well Walk and Run has continuously improved over its first few years. She credited much of the crowds to increased collaboration of initiatives and programs cross-campus.
Participants were able to register individually or as groups. Registered group names included the Public Health Research Ninjas, the Bookworms and several teams named for their department or residence hall.
To draw more participants and enthusiasm, the “Be Well. Be Orange.” campaign encouraged residence halls to register in groups and compete against other residence halls for attendance. Participating departments and halls included Diversity Development, West Hall, International Programs, Disability Access Services, Oxford House and Enrollment Management.
For some, the 2013 Be Well Walk and Run was their first. Pat Newcomb, an OSU alumnus, ran with his nine-month-old granddaughter, Mila, in her stroller.
“We’ve been running for a while and were looking for a race, so this was just perfect timing,” Newcomb said.
For many students, the race served as a more community-interactive alternative to their daily runs. Freshman Jena Ozenna, an animal science major with a pre-vet option, heard about the run through her health class and cajoled her friends into doing the run with her.
“I was going to run today anyway,” said Mark Hall, a freshman in mechanical engineering. “Why not do it with other people?”