SUU ROTC Cadets Host 5K Fundraiser Run

Written by Spc. Kelly K. Collett

- Published - April 28, 2005

 

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Photo by Spc. Kelly K. Collett

Major Brent Anderson pushes his son as they participate in the ROTC 5K fundraiser run.

CEDAR CITY – The ROTC Club of Southern Utah University hosted its annual 5K (3.1 miles) fundraiser run April 16. Cadets held the event to raise money for the purchase of training equipment, and the community came in large numbers to show its support.

 

The air was chilly as the sun crept over the mountains and warmed the participants as they stretched every muscle they would need to make the run.  Six cadre from the SUU ROTC program watched over every detail to ensure the event ran smoothly. The six are all members of the Utah National Guard.  They along with their cadets and their secretary, Sam Slavens, worked from sunup to make the run a success.

 

The runners formed a conglomeration of T-shirts, shorts, and sweatpants as they did their final stretching on the starting line.  Sgt. 1st Class Lennie McConnell, a training noncommissioned officer and ROTC freshman instructor, fired the starting gun, a 1903 artillery piece.

 

The group quickly shot from the line and down the road. Runners from four years of age to senior citizens had now officially started their five-kilometer challenge.  Several runners pushed children in strollers as others walked with their young ones at their side.

 

More than 100 people registered for the run, but the race also included dozens more who simply ran for fun. Among the many who came out to run, SUU President Steve Bennion was also there to show his support.

 

Bennion gave several reasons why he came to support the ROTC Club. “The ROTC is a great group, very patriotic with a love for their country, and we need to support them,” he said. “I jog regularly and believe it is an investment in health, and I take care of myself.  And this distance race is about a one-for-all and an all-for-one feeling.  It’s about everyone having fun and supporting each other.”

 

Colby Davis was the first to cross the finish line with a time of 17:39.  His motivation for running comes from his father who was also a runner. Colby is a senior at Canyon View High School.  He runs the 8K and 4K for their track team.

 

Alisha Black, with a time of 21:22, was the first female to cross the line. She gave up the chance to run in the Boston Marathon to run in the ROTC Club 5K run.  She ran track in college and enjoys running, especially to support the troops, she said.

 

The top three contestants for each age group received medals for their efforts.  At the ceremony, the group showed its support by clapping and cheering.

 

When the race was finished, the runners enjoyed water, fruit, and other goodies to help replenish the energy they had burned.

 

Everyone who registered was then entered into a raffle where everyone won at least one item from among several donated by the community. Among the prizes were T-shirts, microwave, radio-controlled car, pizzas, gift certificates, movie rentals, water bottles, hotel stays, free pastries, certificates to local restaurants, key chains and free car washes.

 

Maj. Brent Anderson of the SUU ROTC club was pleased with the outcome of the event. “We had great community support and great weather.”

 

The weather for this year’s run was better than in recent years when runners had met with windy and wet conditions.

 

Capt. Robert Warden, training and recruiting officer for the SUU ROTC agreed with Anderson. “The run went great, yet you always have to wonder about how the weather will be. Every year has been snowy or windy, yet people still support us,” he said.

 

Warden added that he was grateful to the many sponsors who supported the run and for the cadets who contacted the sponsors.

 

For anyone who missed the run this year, start looking forward to the run next year and do what you can to participate and make the run a bigger success next time.