Florida A&M kicked off its 2012 Homecoming with its Third Annual 5K Run and Wellness Expo on Saturday.
The 5K began years ago as the Spirit Run, which took place on the Monday that homecoming week began. Class prevented many students from attending the race, which caused the planning committee to revamp the Spirit Run into a race that took place on a Saturday to encourage student involvement.
This year’s race included obstacles and physical challenges, with cash and other prizes awaiting the winners at the finish line. With more than 260 participants pre-registered for the event, faculty and volunteers were very excited about the number of students participating in the race.
Amos Landers, a fourth-year pharmacy student from Tampa, was excited about the turnout but believes students should be more excited to partake in events such as the 5K on campus.
“There should be more students who are physically active and willing to participate in recreational events on campus,” Landers said.
Tanya Tatum, the director of the FAMU Student Health Center, believes the improvements in the registration process allowed more students to be involved with the race this year.
“We changed the registration process from paper to online, which allowed more students to sign up,” Tatum said.
This year’s race also included an electronic chip, which tracked the participants throughout the race. Student participants were pleased that FAMU offered this challenging experience to kick off homecoming week.
“It was challenging, but I’m glad I did it because I wanted to get back in shape,” said Woodly Oralus, a first-year accounting student from Ft. Lauderdale. “I really appreciate the university for putting this event on. While we ran, students were motivating each other to keep going.”
Gina Kinchlow, a professor and adviser of the FAMU student-run Prodigy public relations firm, believes the event was a success.
“I think it’s a smart way to kick off homecoming,” Kinchlow said. “There is nothing more important than your health, and that’s exactly what FAMU is telling students and our community through this race.”