This past Saturday, the 12th annual Healthy High took place across campus starting out at the New Balance Recreation Center. With gusty winds and heavy rain, the runners were faced with the challenge of the elements as the race kicked off around 9:30 a.m.
Despite the contest, there was a large crowd of runners from all levels and ages. Some were seasoned 5K runners and others were just running their first ever road race. The age division ranged from 12 and under to 70 plus.
For Austin Cyr, a recent UMaine alum, this was his first ever 5K.
“I was nervous but it went ok,” Cyr said.
The event is put on by the Student Wellness Center and is typically held on April 20. It is seen as an alternative way to celebrate “4/20” which is commonly associated with the recreational consumption of marijuana.
However, this year the date of the event was changed to the following weekend. This is because both Passover and Easter fell on the same weekend as 4/20.
Mark White, who works in Information Technologies at UMaine and has run the Healthy High for the past four years, did not think that it took away from the theme of the event.
“It’s a great race, fun and funny with the college kids antics but they support it,” White said. “I did miss the ice cream truck being there though.”
The UMaine Black Bear Race Series, who hosted the event as well as other race events on campus such as the UMaine Black Bear Attack, felt that by moving the race a week later more people would be able to participate. Many people at the event felt that changing the date did not make a huge difference; even though some complained, they planned on running it regardless of the day.
“I did better than I thought I was going to. I thought the rain was going to suck but it’s actually warm,” Wes Lamphear, a third-year civil engineering student, said. “The only downside is my shoes are soaked which is my pet peeve.”
Lamphear came to the 5K race hoping to be under twenty-three minutes and accomplished that by running a 20:58.
Holding the race on a Saturday also made it possible to add a 15K to the options, which is the first year that has been done only due to the extra time available. The usual distances that are offered, a 5K, 10K and a one-mile fun run, also still took place.
Lamphear was still waiting at the finish line after his race for one of his friends that was completing the 15K. Laphear explained that the 15K can be a good challenge for experienced runners looking for a longer race.
All proceeds of the event went to the Student Wellness Resource Center and Bodwell Center for Volunteerism. They were also taking shoe donations for Soles 4 Souls, an organization that helps gives new and gently-worn shoes to individuals in need.