The Collegian
Thursday, February 29, 2024

UR hosts first Spider Dash

Runners participating in the first annual Spider Dash 5k on Mar. 25, 2023.
Runners participating in the first annual Spider Dash 5k on Mar. 25, 2023.

Over 350 members of the University of Richmond community came together on March 25 to run the first-annual Spider Dash, a 5K around campus. 

The Spider Dash was organized by UR Dining Services in partnership with other organizations on campus, including URWell . 

Kirsten McKinney, the Director of Marketing for Campus Operations in the Dining Services Administration and Heather Sadowski, the Director of Health Promotion, the co-organizers of the event, said they wanted to combine the ideas of healthy eating with activity, which inspired them to organize the run. They focused on President Kevin Hallock’s guiding lights of holistic wellbeing and community engagement, they said. 

The proceeds from the race went to Caritas, a local non-profit shelter that provides programs for men and women who are experiencing homelessness and may be experiencing addiction. 

“We have a men's and women's shelter that houses people for around 60 days, more if needed,” Josh Rockett, a representative for Caritas said. “Then we have a recovery program for people dealing with addiction that's a rounded 12 month program called the healing place.”

McKinney wanted to ensure that students and staff were well educated on hydration and nutrition in conjunction with healthy activity, she said. 

During the race, hydration stations were set up for runners throughout the course to encourage proper hydration during strenuous exercise. At the brunch that took place afterward, runners were given information on how to build a healthy plate. 

A committee of people from different departments met up twice a month from September to March to plan the event. They made sure to consult experienced runners when organizing the event, Sadowski said. 

The turnout for the event went beyond the expectations of Sadowski, she said. 

“It’s a mix of faculty, staff and students, which we’re so excited about, just seeing the community come out on a Saturday morning to participate in the physical dimension of wellbeing, and also the social piece,” Sadowski said. 

Sophomore Cole Lewis was awarded first place with a time of 17 minutes and 40 seconds, and senior Tim Mayes was awarded second place.

Lewis enjoyed the race and thought it was well put together, he said. 

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“I really missed racing so I was glad to have an opportunity to do it again,” Lewis said. “I was really happy to see so many students turn out and really fielded a solid competition up at the front of the race.” 

McKinney said they hope to make the Spider Dash an annual event, especially with the positive reception they received from faculty, staff and students. 

Both President Hallock and Tina Hallock participated in the race and presented the proceeds raised at the award ceremony to Caritas. 

“We’ve already had alumni reach out to us and ask if they can be involved next year, and we are hoping we can open it up to alumni in the community as well,” McKinney said.

Contact news writer Grace Allen at grace.allen@richmond.edu

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