The Bear Tracks for Life 5k run gave an early start to students, families and friends on Family Day on Saturday, Sept. 22.
The 5k run, benefiting the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, started and ended on the south side of campus. Runners registered prior to the race or at South Dining Hall, and the race officially started at approximately 9 a.m. There was a range of attendees: from volunteers to athletes looking to run their best, to families walking or running together, to students rising early to join the cause.
Jay Gallagher, the coordinator of the event, said that Bear Tracks for Life benefits a good cause, ties in with Family Day well, gives volunteers good experience and is a healthy activity for students on a Saturday, since students usually are not up as early. He said that many people come back the next year to participate again.

Students and family members run together to support cancer foundations.
Emily Leahman, The Keystone

The 5k race started in front of South Dining Hall. Participants ran around the DMZ, then headed towards Golden Bear Village South, back to the DMZ and to Main Street. From Main Street, runners went to the stadium and Dixon Hall, and finally made one more loop around the DMZ to finish at South Dining Hall again. Volunteers directed runners and watched for traffic throughout the course.
The 5k lasted a little less than an hour. Afterward, participants were offered refreshments in South Dining Hall and entered a raffle for various prizes.
The first place winner was Ethan Lindermuth. He participated mainly on an avid interest in running.
“I feel my time could’ve been better, but I’m happy I won,” said Lindermuth.
The fastest college-age girl was Kristen Slack, a junior Professional Writing major. She participated in order to stay in shape during the track-and-field off-season. Slack said that the race finished easily on a downhill slope at a very rapid pace.
“[The race] didn’t feel like a 5k. It went fast,” said Slack.
The race was still important after it ended, since all of the proceeds went to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation for breast cancer research.
In 1982, Nancy G. Brinker founded the organization in honor of her sister, Susan G. Komen, who died of breast cancer. Since then, they have raised $2 billion to fight breast cancer and allowed for top-of-the-line scientific research. Besides funding research, the organization provides early detection and better treatment for diagnosed patients, making for more survivors in recent years.
“The group benefits many people and is a well-known organization,” said Jay Gallagher, the coordinator of the event, “[Breast cancer] touches some part of their family at some point.”
The cause gives an added boost of motivation, even if breast cancer is not prevalent in their families.
“Cancer is cancer. To me, any cause is good,” said Slack.
“I’ll do any 5K, but if it’s a good cause, there’s more of an incentive to do it,” said Lindermuth.
This was the eighth year of the Bear Tracks for Life event, according to Gallagher.

By Emily Leayman

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