WU Run offers Ichabods fun, fitness

Alexander Sonnich, Washburn Review

As the remaining 8 a.m. cloud cover began to separate over Washburn’s campus, the runners gathered in front of the steps to the Mabee Library, lured by the promise of a leisurely morning workout and the opportunity for free breakfast in the library upon their return.

The crowd was an eclectic mix of university students and staff ranging from incoming freshmen to senior professors. After registering with one of the event’s hosts and choosing which pace they wish to run, the group of 40 split into several divisions and took off in different directions, signaling the beginning of the 2012  Welcome Week WU Run.

The Friday morning event, hosted by the Washburn Student Recreation and Wellness Center, fell in the middle of Washburn’s Welcome Week.

An advantage to the WU Run is that participants may choose their pace throughout the event. Speeds are divided into minute-mile intervals, the most grueling being the 7-minute mile pace and the most relaxed a ‘brisk’ or ‘leisure’ walk through campus. For students, the run offers a chance to meet other fitness-minded Ichabods. For faculty, the run is counted in a wellness incentive program which began with the opening of the Student Recreation and Wellness Center in 2004.

“The program keeps us motivated towards exercise, which is one of my passions,” said Glenda Taylor, art department chair. “If I can be part of any program like that which promotes health and wellness for faculty and staff, it’s better for all of us.”

Aside from the fitness benefits, the WU Run is often cited as an event in which students have the chance to run with President Jerry Farley, an avid runner and fitness enthusiast, who was unable to attend this year’s event.

“I was looking forward to running with President Farley, even if I had to run the 7-minute mile pace,” said senior kinesiology major Brett Johnson. “I don’t think I could beat Farley in a race, though. He’s got that Ichabod swag.”