Students convened at the University of Maryland Golf Course Tuesday, wearing new green shirts and neon glow sticks in preparation for the Homecoming Glow on the Greens 5K Fun Run.
Brianne Rowh, assistant director of fitness for Recreation and Wellness, organized the run with the help of a small team and a group of 20 volunteers. The Fun Run was first conducted last year in the spring, so the crew’s work was cut out for them, Rowh said.
She said they already had a map for the course and knew the materials needed. This was the first time the Fun Run has been done during Homecoming week, she added.
“On a campus our size, one of the most difficult things is just getting the word out,” Rowh said.
Organizers used means like social media, email and even Stamp Student Union resources to reach out to students. Volunteers in pink shirts took runners’ information, and provided them with glow sticks, head lamps, bright green shirts and paint. Volunteers set up a station specifically for the runners to paint themselves up, and wash off their hands.
Drew Olsen, a criminal justice major at the University of Maryland at Shady Grove, had a bright pink hand print on his face, while he talked to friends Chris Dimitriadis and Thomas Harrigan. Olsen, who heard about the run through email, used it as an opportunity to reconnect with friends.
“I always find running pretty therapeutic,” said Harrigan, a senior biochemistry major.
“It’s a fun run but it’s not too long so you don’t have to seriously train,” added Dimitriadis, a sophomore behavioral and community health major.
The beginning of the run was delayed, because the weather was nicer than expected, and organizers wanted the runners to get the full effect of the colors.
Freshman computer science major Ethan Winters said the best part of a Fun Run is actually not the colors. “The best part… [is] after the run when you have the shirt and you can say you did it,” said Winters.
The Fun Run was not just limited to students, either. “We certainly hoped we’d get some members of the community with their families and we did tonight,” said Rowh.
Hugh Zhao, a senior electrical engineering and economics major, saw the Fun Run as an opportunity in his last year.
“I feel like I stayed inside freshman and sophomore year…now I’m trying to experience all of what the University has to offer.”
The turnout, however, did not reflect a Homecoming week event. “It is a Tuesday night, so we weren’t really sure how that would go over,” said Rowh. “We ended with about 50 [people], but we were very happy with what we got,” she added.
More information about Homecoming events can be found on social media platforms and on the school calendar.
Photos by Zach Phillips