Students, alumni and community members gathered together on the cool, misty morning of Oct. 3 to participate in the Hound Hustle 5k, a run to benefit academic programs on campus and celebrate homecoming.
The 135 runners, consisting of students, alumni, faculty and community members, bundled up and met in front of Ruth Lilly Fitness Center to run the course set out across campus, through the surrounding University Heights neighborhood, past the president’s house and ending in front of Schwitzer Student Center on Smith Mall.
The Hound Hustle was brought to the university last year by Associate Professor and Chair of Chemistry Katherine Stickney. She said that she herself is a competitive runner and thought that it would be a great next step to organize a 5k.
“A lot of the 5ks I run are specific benefits for causes, so I thought I would love to have a 5k here on campus that would benefit students and academic programs,” she said.
Five dollars from each registration fee goes to the academic department of the runner’s choosing. If the runner does not choose a specific department, the $5 from their registration goes to the general University of Indianapolis scholarship fund.
“This event is part of homecoming, and part of homecoming is community engagement,” Stickney said. “What I discovered last year is [that] we did a really good job of bringing together the UIndy students, the UIndy alumni, the faculty and staff that work here and the general Southside Indianapolis community. It’s a big community event. I’d like to see it continue to grow and continue to be a new part of our homecoming tradition.”
The race was open to runners and walkers of all ages. In addition to the main race, there were two divisions of an “Ace Chase” to encourage young children to join in the fun. The Ace Chase is a one-lap run where children six and under or seven to ten race against Ace.
There were other ways to get involved besides running. There were more than 50 volunteer positions to help direct runners, collect tags at the finish line and pass out water. President Robert Manuel joined in and handed runners cups of water as they passed his house.
This year’s winners were alumnus Seth Daughtery for the males, with a time of 18:22, and Jill Dempsey for the females, with a time of 22:29.
Junior medical lab science major Sarah Horan volunteered to help at the finish line, congratulating runners and collecting their tags. She said that this was her first year volunteering at the event.
Horan said she found the race inspiring since she recently has started running herself. She thinks that the Hound Hustle should definitely continue to be a part of homecoming.
“Unfortunately the weather wasn’t nice, but people turned out, and it’s for a great cause,” Horan said.
Other runners said they registered because they thought this would be a good first 5k to run as a family or because they wanted to come back and visit their alma mater.
Stickney said she wanted to thank the chemistry department for its help with the organization and scoring, athletic training students for providing the professional quality medical support and Science Department Administrative Assistant Lisa Battiato for getting the door prizes.