Photo by Spc. Kelly
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
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
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
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,”
Warden added that he was grateful to the many sponsors who
supported the run and for the cadets who contacted the
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.