Annual Bowman Cup raises funds for Recreation Center

Sean Daugherty

This Saturday hundreds of people will walk into Dix Stadium to watch players run from one another, but about 200 people will be walking and running for a different reason: They will be participating in the Bowman Cup.

The Student Recreation and Wellness Center is hosting the sixth annual Bowman Cup, a 5-kilometer walk/race open to the public.

The walk, named after the university’s fifth president, George Bowman, starts at the rec center and continues through the residential area around campus.

This year’s race takes place at the same time as Race for the Cure in Cleveland, which could affect participation numbers, but organizers do not seem concerned.

“I don’t think (Race for the Cure) stops people from participating,” said Becky Fortune, event marketing assistant at the rec center. “A lot of people enjoy (the Bowman Cup) and are willing to participate.”

Fortune said the race is the primary event for the marketing department, and proceeds help fund other free activities throughout the semester.

Paula Murray, assistant director of marketing, said she thinks people may participate in the Bowman Cup instead of Race for the Cure because of its ties to the university.

“We have more participants who are Kent State students,” she said. “Many students may forgo other events to do this because it’s KSU.”

The event originated as a series of events held for students during homecoming week, and the winning team received the “Bowman Cup.”

Murray said the Bowman Cup evolved into an intramural event in which students raced around the former par course, a gravel path that wound through campus.

Six years ago, the event became a formal race and was opened to the public for the first time, she said.

“We wanted to make it into a university event that everyone can enjoy,” she said. “We hope that this will become the event (everyone wants to attend).”

After the race, the rec center will hold an open house from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., giving runners a chance to use the facility free of charge.

Cash prizes are given to the top three overall winners and other prizes are given to the top three finishers in 13 age groups.

Psychology graduate student Liz Casey has placed in the top three in her age group the previous two years, and she said there are good reasons for students to get involved.

“It’s a good thing to do before you tailgate,” she said. “You can get your exercise for the day.”

Casey participates in a couple races a year, most recently the Akron Marathon, but she enjoys running in the Bowman Cup for several reasons.

“(The Bowman Cup) promotes school spirit and fitness,” she said. “It’s so close. (And) You get a really cool T-shirt.”

The race also takes a trip through neighborhoods, showing runners a different side of Kent, she said.

Race registration is from 7 to 8:15 a.m. Saturday, with the race beginning promptly at 8:30 a.m.

Students can register for $8 until midnight tonight. All runners registering the day of the race will be charged $20.

Contact recreation and wellness reporter Sean Daugherty at [email protected].