Words by Hallie Saculla

Kent State’s Student Recreation and Wellness Center (REC) will host its annual Black Squirrel 5K Race at 8 a.m. April 8. The race begins and ends at the REC, taking runners through campus, the Esplanade and Portage Bike and Hike Trail.

“Our purpose is to provide a great race with a great atmosphere for the advancement of health and well-being of those individuals participating,” Gregory Bailey, the senior assistant director of recreational services, says. “We pride ourselves on putting on the best events for the students, faculty, staff, alumni and community.”

Participants between the ages of 6 and 85 may register in their respected age and gender group. The entry fee is $25 and will raise to $30 for those who register the morning of the race.

Check-in for the event will take place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on April 7 in the lobby of the REC. Runners may also check-in before the race from 7 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.

Immediately after the race, an awards ceremony will be held where runners can find refreshments and raffle prizes from local vendors. In each male and female age group, winners will be awarded $100 for first place, $75 for second and $50 for third.

While all profits are put directly back into the expenses involved in putting on the race, Bailey hopes to provide funding for REC programs in the years to come.

“This year we switched to a new race registration site that is specifically targeting running, and we were able to add a donation page to help support our club sports program, which is not well funded,” Bailey says. “This is my hope for the future, that if the race does generate profits that we can support the club sports.”

To register, visit runsignup.com/Race/OH/Kent/BlackSquirrel5KRace.

Hallie Saculla is the fitness and recreation reporter for The Burr.