Forever Buffs 5K Run - Building a New CU Tradition
Editor's Note: The University of Colorado will host the Spring Fest on April 25. The focal point of the day is annual Spring Game, set for 1 p.m. But that doesn't begin to describe everything that will take place that day. Between now and next Friday, CUBuffs.com will highlight a different aspect of the Spring Fest. Saturday, we focus on the inaugural Forever Buffs 5K race that the Senior Class Council is putting on to raise awareness and support for the Senior Class Gift. Check out a listing of all the events surrounding the CU Spring Fest.
BOULDER - The Spring Football Game at the University of Colorado has been a long-standing school tradition for CU students, alumni, future Buffaloes, and community members alike since 1953. Last year the Buffs took a giant leap forward attracting a record 17,800 fans to the game, surpassing a 19 year old record by more than 4,000 fans.
The Forever Buffs 5K run, on the other hand, is a brand new event that will take place before the spring football game on April 25. This may be the first year for the run, but Forever Buffs 5K event coordinator Tom Higginbotham is hoping to make this experience into an annual tradition, just like the Spring Game.
"We want it to be something that can build excitement on campus," Higginbotham said. "The Spring Game is one of those events that really builds a lot of excitement, builds a lot of tradition on campus, and we want to try to work together to build even more tradition up for that weekend."
Athletics Department Director of Game Management and Operations Tom McGann says that having involvement from the current students is an important component to the CU campus as well as in everything CU Athletics does.
"The student support we get is phenomenal and anytime we can partner together we believe it is a win-win," McGann said. "I believe the Senior Class Council wants us to succeed, as we want them to succeed. If we can help each other, that is a positive thing for both sides."
The race around the CU campus, which will begin at 8 a.m. by the Buffalo statue near Folsom Field and end at the Duane Physics lawn, promotes a healthy lifestyle and invites students, alumni, and community members to connect with each other and the university.
In addition to structuring tradition, the run, sponsored by the Senior Class Council along with the Forever Buffs initiative by the CU Alumni Association, is an attempt to support the 2009 Senior Class Gift and to educate graduating seniors about the importance of giving back.
"We've had a Senior Class Gift going for a good dozen years, but no one really knows what it is year-after-year," Higginbotham said. "So this year we're trying to change that and raise more awareness for it."
The 2009 Senior Class Gift, to which the run's proceeds will go, will support three important campus projects: the Norlin Library Plaza Renovation, the Senior Class Legacy Ball, and the Senior Class Norlin Endowment Scholarship.
The Norlin Library Plaza project is a three-month renovation, set to break ground this summer, of the area on the east side of the library where the sundial sits. The courtyard will be made more economical and sustainable, complete with tables and power outlets allowing students to do work outside and to liven up the space.
The Senior Class Legacy Ball serves as an annual tradition for seniors to come together to celebrate the camaraderie and accomplishments of their time at CU. The students share cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, music, dancing, and door prizes at this semi-formal gala.
The Senior Class Norlin Endowment is a scholarship awarded to a rising senior student. The annual endowment, which was started three years ago, will recognize a student who has demonstrated outstanding academic or creative achievement during his or her college career.
Ever since the Senior Class Council and the Senior Gift Committee came up with the idea of the Forever Buffs 5K, Higginbotham says they've gotten tons of backing.
"Everyone jumped on board and there's really been a lot of support from everyone that I talk to that really built it up to what it is," he said.
As of Thursday, April 15, around 50 people have signed up for the race, 20-30 of which have done so in the last couple of days. Higginbotham says that at this rate, he's expecting close to 100 people to participate in the inaugural run.
While the Forever Buffs 5K is no steadfast tradition yet like the Spring Football Game is, Higginbotham hopes this will change in the upcoming years.
"We're expecting big things in the future," he said. "We're hoping that eventually we become a focal part of that day, along with the Spring Football Game."
While it is up to the students to make the run a custom, McGann says he would like to see the "partnership and mutual support we give each other to definitely be a tradition."
The first annual Forever Buffs 5K is part of a larger weekend called Spring Fest that the CU campus and the Athletics Department are building, centered around the Spring Game, with the intent to create a great CU experience for all. Along with the run, this new affair will include other original events such as Healthy Kids Day, the CU Garage Sale, and the Buffalo Can Challenge.
For more information on the Spring Game and all of the weekend's activities visit the CU Football Spring Game Headquarters.
To sign up online for the Forever Buffs 5K check out the registration site.