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The Antelope

Cope 5K run for cause

Riley Riggs-Ramage throws the Lopes as he finishes first

Alana Kellen

As students arrived at the Student Union for check in, they were given a race number and a piece of chalk to write why they were running. Students wrote breast cancer, obesity, suicide awareness, Alzheimer’s, and more as others gathered behind them. Some came in groups, while others came alone, but all participants were there for a reason.

This event was put on by the Cope Scholars with help from the First Year Program. Jenna Beller, executive member of the Cope Scholars group, was impressed with the turnout of the event considering it was the first year it was put on. 

“We are expecting about 30 to 35 people to show up for the race, which is pretty good,” Beller said. “We’ve been kind of struggling since there has been a lot going on at the beginning of the school year. If it was a little later in the year, we’d probably be able to get the word out more than we did, but we’re still happy with our turnout.”

The race is meant to be a service project that the Cope Scholars do to raise money for a service organization, but also to spread awareness for any organization or charitable group that isn’t as recognized as prominent groups. Students are encouraged to come and run for any organization they feel is important and raise awareness for it. It also gives students and community members the chance to take part in the volunteer opportunities.

“It takes a lot of communication and teamwork to get an event like this going and we’ve been communicating over the summer since it’s so early in the semester,“ Beller said. “We split up into four committees which are the advertisement committee, the registration committee, the service committee, and the logistics committee who would be planning the course of the race.”

The course of the race circles around campus, starting at the Student Union going all the way out to UNMC with the finish line being under the view at Nester Hall. 

At 7 p.m., students were lined up at the start line. A single starting gun signaled to the runners the race had begun and they were off. After some time, a student began to make his way towards the finish line. Seeing the finish line near, he made into a sprint to cross through the rope volunteers were holding. 

Freshman Jacob Riggs-Ramage, a studio art major was the first to cross the finish line for the 5K. Riggs-Ramage ran for Campus Kitchen because they are going to donate extra meals to the homeless. He also won the prize of $25 in Loper Dollars. 

The Cope Scholars are unsure of the exact organization the profit is going towards, but for now they want to put it back to a UNK non-profit organization. In the future they plan to explore other non-profits the money could go to, but since it’s a new activity they decided it was best to stick with a UNK organization that doesn’t get much recognition. 

Beller and the other Cope Scholars were happy with how the event turned out and are excited for the 5K race to become an annual event at UNK. 

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