Bowman Cup 5k sees record numbers

Justin Armburger


From people clad in Nike and sleek sunglasses to parents enjoying a morning of fun with their children, more than 300 people participated in the seventh annual Bowman Cup 5k Race/Walk Saturday.

This year’s race began at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center and featured a different course, part of which ran through the new Portage County Hike and Bike Trail.

“It was a good collaboration with the Portage County Hike and Bike Trail,” said Jason Hawk, interim assistant director of marketing for the rec center. “Our marketing efforts paid off, and the weather is beautiful. All three seemed to be a major factor.”

Friends and family members cheered on runners at the finish line. Even a few members of the Kent State cross country team came to support post-collegiate runners.

In a record-breaking field of 305 runners, Seth Hutchinson, Kent State alumnus and former member of the men’s cross country team, won with a time of 15:08.

Jennifer Fascione, Kent State alumna and former member of the women’s cross country team, won the women’s race with a time of 18:51.

While cash prizes for the top three male and female runners offered some incentive to run in this year’s race, others had different reasons to take part.

“I ran it for the last two years with my friend,” junior nursing major Jeff Guska said. “It’s kind of a tradition thing.”

Others, such as junior accounting major Joey Campbell, had someone to accompany them. In Campbell’s case, it was a professor.

“My accounting teacher Don McFall asked me and a couple other students to run with him,” he said.

McFall said he runs the race simply because “I’m an alumni and it’s Homecoming.”

As runners stretched and warmed up, Black Squirrel Radio provided music and a raffle for participants to win free Teddy Geiger tickets. Also, Saturn, in its “Devotion to Motion” event, gave people a chance to win up to $40,000 toward a new car.

This year’s major sponsors were Subway, Vertical Runner and the Portage County Hike and Bike Trail, Hawk said.

After the race, participants were invited inside the rec center for food, drinks and a raffle while the results were tallied.

Community members also had the opportunity to attend an open house at the rec center afterward, allowing them to use the entire facility for the day.

Contact science reporter Justin Armburger at [email protected].