By Chelsea Pennington |
Runners lined up to start the Samford Sunset 5K on a wet and cloudy evening Saturday, Sept. 29. Despite the weather, the runners and walkers were ready to go, excited about participating in the first ever 5K for Scholarships.
Starting at the Samford track and soccer stadium, runners followed the trail that runs alongside Lakeshore Drive, with mile markers and a water station along the way. A total of nearly 200 people participated in the 5K and the one-mile Fun Run.
Samford’s Legacy League put on the race to raise money for scholarships that allow students to attend Samford. Sharon Smith is the director of development for the Legacy League and a key figure in organizing the 5K.
“We wanted to offer an opportunity for student, volunteer and community involvement in our mission,” Smith said.
The idea for the 5K fundraiser started with the Ways and Means Chair of the Legacy League, Lisbeth Cease. Four-time Samford graduate Beth Steed headed up the event as chair of the race.
“Beth is well-connected to both the running community and Samford alums, so she’s brought lots of energy and connections to the cause,” Smith said.
Kevin Figlewicz, a freshman exercise science major at Samford, won the 5k with a time of 18:41. He was on the track team in high school and is now a member of Samford’s TrailBlazers running club.
“Someone [in the club] told me there was going to be a 5K, and I was like ‘Cool, I’ll run that,’” Figlewicz said. “It feels great to accomplish something like that.”
Students were not the only participants in the 5K. Emily Hynds, associate professor of mathematics and computer science, also ran in the race.
“I just started back to running several weeks ago and thought this would be a perfect first race back,” Hynds said. “It was great to be surrounded by my Samford family and to know the money was for a worthy cause.”
The Samford 5K provided a healthy and fun way for students, faculty and others from the community to get involved with the Legacy League’s mission.
For those unsure about participating next year, Figlewicz offers this advice: “If you stick with it and put in the miles, you’ll find you’re capable of a lot more than you think you are.”