Students, alumni and community members came together this Sunday to participate in the 11th Annual Johns Hopkins Blue Jay 5K and 1/2 Mile Fun Run. With 341 people registered for the event, organizers were able to raise over $11,000.
The charity event was organized by the Johns Hopkins Track and Field Team. On top of flat donations, participants gathered sponsors to raise money for the Lymphoma Research Foundation.
This year’s run was especially significant, as it commemorated the recent loss of Hopkins student and Track and Field athlete Rebecca Grande, who passed away in the fall due to non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
“This year’s race will benefit the Lymphoma Research Foundation, a cause that’s very close to all of our hearts. This past fall, we lost a teammate to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and our goal to honor her is to bring awareness to this pressing cause and to help raise money to support its research,” the run’s 2013 Mission Statement reads.
Runners began the 5k at 9:45 a.m. at the North Gate. The course took participants around Homewood campus, down below Mason Hall and up San Martin Drive. It was preceded by a warm-up led by Lynne Brick from the Brick Bodies Gym and then followed by a 1/2 mile “fun run.” The “fun run” consisted of two laps around Homewood field and was intended for younger race participants.
Freshmen Colin O’Connor, who helped organize the event alongside senior Alana Merkow and junior Weston Butler, was impressed with the event’s outcome.
“I think it was a great effort. We started planning it in January, so it took a while to get going. But overall, it took two hours to raise over $10,000, which I think is great,” O’Connor said. “And although this one took a lot of time and effort, it definitely raised a good amount of money, as well as support and awareness for diseases like this and how it can affect even your closest friends and students.”
Participants came not only from the Hopkins community, but from the Baltimore community as a whole.
“It was fun being part of an event that was not only among Hopkins students, but really a community event,” freshmen participant Davis Einolf said. “There were a lot of adults there and a lot of community members. So we got to have a lot of fun on a beautiful day, and we got to do our part for cancer research.”
For O’Connor, the event was also a great way to spread his passion for running.
“Especially since the track team is running it, this race means a lot. This is what we do everyday, and people can now see what we do everyday after class,” O’Connor said.