Bowman Cup 5k race draws nearly 500 participants


Aaron Schultz, a participant of the Bowman Cup 5k, placed fourth place this morning in the annual race on October 5th, 2013. Photo by Emily Lambilotte.

Chase Bonhotel

As the autumn sun glistened over the colorful array of leaves surrounding the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, runners stretched and warmed-up for the 13th annual Bowman Cup 5k Race.

The 3.1-mile race, named after former Kent State President George Bowman, started Saturday at 8 a.m. It gave the Homecoming festivities a running start and had approximately 480 participants.

As the sound of the race official’s gun echoed throughout campus, participants were off, running through the Portage Hike and Bike Trial — a course certified by USA Track and Field.

Fewer than 20 minutes later, the first-place finisher, 28-year-old Stow resident Scott Mate, crossed the finish line in 15 minutes and 59 seconds.

“It was brutal out there,” Mate said. “The last mile of the course is pretty tough, and the (humid) weather certainly didn’t help.”

Mate was able to come back after suffering a foot injury that put him down for 12 weeks. This was his second time running the Bowman Cup and his first race since the injury.

“I’m coming back from an injury, but I thought it was a pretty good effort,” Mate said. “I love the race. It was an overall solid day, and there was a good crowd coming down the home stretch.”

Aaron Schultz, a 22-year-old Kent State graduate student, was the first student participant to cross the line with a time of 18 minutes and 2 seconds. The first female student, 18-year-old Mia Yeger, had a time of 22 minutes and 3 seconds.

“I was incredibly impressed with the runners,” Schultz said. “It was a fun course, nice race and good day.”

Bowman 5K Race from Kentwired on Vimeo.

After the event, more than 126 awards and 30 to 40 raffle prizes, provided by local vendors, were handed out. Each participant also received a free gender-specific cup-performance T-shirt provided by Second Sole.

Cash prizes were awarded to first-, second- and third-place finishes for both men and women. Category winners — male and female, consisting of students, faculty and staff, alumni and community members — won fedora hats and signature Bowman mugs. First-, second- and third-place prizes also were awarded to each of the 16 age groups.

Each year, the race expands its boundaries, said Steven Langdon, a student event specialist at the Rec.

“Every year it gets better and better, so the expediential growth is always fun,” Langdon said excitedly.

This year, the Bowman Cup partnered with Kent State’s Child Development Center, which was able to provide a free babysitting service for children 18 months to 8 years old.

Abby Millsaps, marketing coordinator for the Department of Recreational Services, said the kids who participated loved it and even received “little Bowman Cup trophies.” It was a way for the whole family to take advantage because both guardians would be able to run.

Kent State’s College of Podiatric Medicine also hosted a free foot clinic for all participants.

Kathy J. Siesel, associate professor and division head for the Department of Podiatric Biomechanics and Orthopedics at Kent State, said hosting the clinic was a lot of fun and a huge success.

The Bowman Cup’s free breakfast buffet provided the necessary fuel for all the Homecoming festivities.

“It was really successful, the weather was excellent, we had lots of people here and a really nice buffet for everyone,” Millsaps said.

Contact Chase Bonhotel at [email protected].