Gridiron 5k run at UCF
Published: Sunday, August 26, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 10:08
Knights, ’Noles, Gators and Bulls sprinted through the UCF campus for the first Orlando Health Gridiron 5K Challenge that took place at Memory Mall on Saturday. UCF won the Gridiron 5K Cup after earning the most points in a series of contests.
More than 500 runners from the University of Florida, Florida State University, University of South Florida, UCF and other colleges competed Saturday in a 5k run to raise money for their schools’ alumni associations.
“I think alumni participation is very important if you want to keep a lifelong commitment to your alma mater. Alumni associations help to keep alumni engaged throughout the course of their life, whether it’s through their time, treasure to help with scholarships or just to stay connected to fellow graduates. I think alumni associations help enrich the lives of alumni,” said Angie Shaw, associate director of regional outreach and engagement for the UCF Alumni Association.
A percentage of the race registration proceeds from participants will be donated back to their respective schools’ alumni associations. Additional donations will be made to the top three schools that had the most participants from each university.
The 3.1-mile course started near Memory Mall and circled around the UCF campus. Runners passed the UCF Alumni Association building and then headed toward the UCF athletic facilities passing the UCF Arena and track & field complex. They continued around Jay Bergman Field and then circled the Bright House Networks Stadium before finishing at Memory Mall.
UCF, FSU, UF and the University of Maryland all had runners who ranked in the top five. A UF student came in first place for the females with a running time of 17 minutes and 52 seconds.
“UF has given the students so much and set us up for a great life, and it’s part of our duty to give back. I feel great knowing the first-place female winner was from UF. It wasn’t a shock to me because I know that we win a lot, so it feels pretty good,” said UF alumna Mallory Welch.
Vincent Hahr, a UCF alumnus, came in first place for the males with a running time of 17 minutes and 41 seconds.
“UCF has done so much for me. I graduated from here and basically lived here for five years. It’s kind of a part of me. I come back here and it brings back so many old memories. It feels good to help out my alma mater and give back,” Hahr said
After all the scores were tabulated for the total number of registered runners, top-5 male and female finishers, tent decoration contest and football toss, UCF took home the Gridiron 5K Cup. The money raised will go toward the UCF scholarship fund. Shaw accepted the award on behalf of the university and said she was honored to do so.
“As a two-time graduate of the University of Central Florida, I bleed black and gold. I have worked here for about 12 years and the amount of growth I’ve been able to witness as a student and alum here on campus has been amazing. UCF is a part of my life and I can’t imagine my life without it,” Shaw said.
Following the race, Bright House Networks hosted a post-race party with food, tailgating games such as corn hole and football toss and live entertainment.
The Gridiron 5K Challenge was a family affair and many showed up sweating the colors of their favorite universities.