By Andrew Kriz
Despite a chilly morning and rainy conditions, Tiger Tracks was able to host its third annual track event on April 9 with a renewed purpose to raise funds for Haiti Missions-In-Action teams.
Hosted by Olivet Counseling and Health Services, the 5K run/3K walk raised over $1,500 dollars which will be allocated towards various upcoming relief projects.
Over 100 runners, walkers and volunteers braved the elements in order to be part of the first ever Tiger Tracks fundraiser.
In the past, Tiger Tracks was usually a small, faculty-only event for fun, said Mary Schweigert, campus nurse and organizer of the event.
“The fact that we raised over $1,500 dollars despite the weather is an amazing feat; the people that showed up today were truly dedicated to the cause.”
Schweigert added that the event had a good turnout.
“We gave out 100 of our 110 T-shirts to our preregistered participants, and we had tons of walk-ons too.”
Huddled together at Ward Field’s outer track with light rain falling, the runners waited for the starting gun.
The participants were tasked to run down University Avenue and return to Ward Field after circling through S. Grand Drive and E. Grand Drive, making an extended loop through the front campus.
The first runner to cross the finish line was Josh Rogowski with a time of 16 minutes and 31 seconds.
Jorge Bonilla, a Student Services counselor, used Tiger Tracks to prepare for his upcoming races.
“I love running, this is my start for the spring and it will help me get ready for the Chicago Marathon.”
Bonilla finished fourth with a time of 20 minutes and 42 seconds in his first Tiger Tracks race.
A group of four students ran the race dressed as characters from Nintendo’s popular “Mario Bros.” series. “Mario” finished first while “Toad” had a photo finish at the line against another runner.
ONU mascot Toby the Tiger made an appearance along with fellow student freshman Scott Ellis who cheered on the runners before the race and offered encouragement during the final leg.