A Race for all Abilities

I’ve always enjoyed running, but I’ve never been much of a competitive runner.  The thought of preparing for a race in middle school track still makes my heart sink, but this past weekend I overcame my long-lived fear and participated in the 10th annual Bowman Cup 5K Race at Kent State University.  

For those of you who are familiar with Kent State’s campus, the race began at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center (SRWC) and looped around Portage Trail and through Kent’s residential areas. 

Some background
The race was named after former Kent State President, George Bowman.  The race’s slogan is, “Race for Ability” because it encourages people of all abilities to participate.  Student Accessibility Services and Recreational Services on campus ensure that even those individuals with disabilities will have the resources they need to participate.

The Bowman Cup was originally an intramural competition that student organizations competed in for a stainless steel trophy engraved with the winning organization’s name.  The trophy was passed on to winners from year to year.  But, throughout the past ten years, the Bowman Cup has become more of a Homecoming tradition.  It takes place early in the morning on the day of Homecoming.  Essentially, it kicks off the Homecoming celebrations.  In fact, it’s become so popular that this year the race was officially certified by the USA Track & Field organization as an official 5K (3.106 mile) distance.   This year, 564 people participated!

The race is for all ages.  (I’ll admit, there was a point when a pre-teen zipped by me, ugh).  Registration is $10 for Kent State students, $15 for affiliates (Student Recreation and Wellness Center members, Kent State employees and alumni) and $20 for community members.  Children younger than ten are free.  A free ticket to the Homecoming football game is included in registration and the first 400 people to register receive a T-shirt, a runner goodie bag, a continental breakfast after the race and a five-minute massage. 

Top runners
1st place: $100
2nd place: $75
3rd place: $50 

The fastest male and female receive a Bowman Cup.

My friend Pat, who finished the race in 22 minutes, and I after the race.

Category winners
Student, affiliate and community winners receive a Bowman Cup fedora hat.

100th runner to cross the finish line (in honor of Kent State’s centennial anniversary)
Winner receives a Kent State gift basket.

As I mentioned earlier, competitive running isn’t exactly my thing.  I ran the Bowman Cup in 26 minutes and 17 seconds.  I came in 224th place — not too bad considering the amount of participants.  So, if you’re interested in running in a 5K, try the Bowman Cup!  It’s a great first 5K to take on because it can be as competitive as you want it to be.   

To get into a regular workout routine, you have to enjoy what you’re doing or it’s not going to last.  Running is one way to stay in shape, but it’s not for everyone.  Try new things and retry them later to mix things up.  With time, your opinions may change.  After my last middle school track meet I never thought I’d run against anyone ever again.  I gave it another shot though, and I can honestly say I really enjoyed myself Saturday.  It was a nice 26 minutes all to myself.  Your workouts are your time, so find something you enjoy.  There are a million ways to be active.  Share your workout routine with me; I’d love to hear about it!


2 Responses

  1. Soo much fun! Great blog read! I think it’s fun to go out and meet with all of these people that you know you have Running in common with. I hope anyone out there thinking of starting to run sticks with it past the first few weeks! Hope to see some of you out there soon!

  2. Thanks Pat! The run was awesome! I’m looking for another one… perhaps the one in Akron on Thanksgiving day.

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