Early homecoming could leave a few events forgotten

Sean Ammerman

This year’s early Homecoming weekend may affect more than just the football game.

Amidst the flurry of events tomorrow is the fifth annual Bowman Cup 5K Race.

Named in honor of former Kent State President George Bowman, it is a five kilometer race/walk open to everyone.

Last year’s race had nearly 200 participants of all ages running through Kent’s neighborhoods.

“It was exciting for us,” said Jason Hawk, junior advertising major and student marketing director for the Student Recreation and Wellness Center. “It was the largest number of people we ever had.”

The Department of Recreational Services hosts the event every year as a way to give to the community and do a little promotion, Hawk said.

This year, however, the race has experienced a lull in registration. With less than 100 people signed up as of Wednesday, it seems unlikely that there will be a repeat of last year’s success.

Paula Murray, the marketing director for the rec center, attributes this to Homecoming’s early arrival and the race’s competition with others held the same weekend.

“Last year, Homecoming was in the middle of October, and that helped registration,” Murray said. This year, there was less than a month’s time to promote the race.

“Students just got back three weeks ago,” Hawk said. “There’s only so much we can do in that time.”

There is also the Buckeye Half Marathon, held in Akron on Sunday, which will be competing with the Bowman Cup for runners.

“A lot of runners won’t do more than one race a weekend,” Hawk said.

Despite these setbacks, Hawk said he is still confident that registration will pick up. On Wednesday alone, 25 people signed up. He estimated there will be 150 people signed up by tomorrow.

“That’s only 50 shy of last year, which in my mind is pretty good with the competition,” he said.

Participants in tomorrow’s race will receive a free T-shirt and gift bag, as well as free drinks and food after the race.

The top three overall male and female finishers will get cash prizes of $75, $40 and $25.

Prizes will also be given to the top finishers among Kent State students, employees, alumni and different age brackets.

Registration for the race may be done at the rec center or online at www.recservices.kent.edu by noon today. The cost is $8 for Kent State students, $12 for Kent State affiliates and $15 for nonmembers. For those who sign up the day of the race, the cost is $20.

The race will begin on Saturday, at 8:30 a.m. at the rec center.

Contact Student Recreation and Wellness Center reporter at Sean Ammerman at [email protected].