Students, alumni and families participate in BYU’s Homecoming Cougar Run

Girls ages 5-6 run the 400-meter run. All ages were allowed to register and run at different events for BYU’s Homecoming week. (Alyssa Bradford)

Students, alumni and families participated in the BYU Homecoming Cougar Run at the BYU Clarence Robison Track and Field Stadium on Oct. 15.

Doug Padilla, BYU track team alumni and director of the event, said this tradition was started by former BYU Women’s Cross Country Coach Patrick Shane in the early ’80s.

Starting at 8:45 a.m., the BYU Track team escorted children ages 1-4 to the track to compete in a 200 meter run. Next, children ages 5-6 competed in a 400-meter run, ages 7-9 competed in an 800-meter run and ages 10-12 competed in a one-mile run.

Seven-year-old Paige Harmon, first place in the 800 meter run, said she started slow on the first lap and then fast on the last lap when questioned on what strategy she had for running.

“The hardest part was the end, but I was ready for a long time,” Harmon said.

The BYU Track team cheered for those racing and congratulated those passing the finish line.

“I believe that the most rewarding part of the event for the committee members and volunteers is seeing people have a good time,” Paige said. “That is especially true of the kids races!”

At precisely 9:45 a.m., the 5K began. BYU’s Homecoming webpage said the first 500 full-time BYU students to sign up got a free entry into the race with the option to purchase a timing chip and a race shirt. Others wishing to run in any event were able to register with the purchase of a chip. All proceeds from this event benefit the BYU Track and Cross Country teams.

The BYU Homecoming Cougar Run 5K changed their annual course because of on-campus construction blocking the original path. The 5K was in celebration of BYU’s Homecoming. (RunnerCard registration website/Google Maps)

The registration website, RunnerCard, said since the BYU campus is currently under construction around the Harris Fine Arts Center and the path from the Tanner Building to Helaman Halls, the race’s annual course had been changed. The runners started at the track, headed east toward Heritage Halls, ran through campus and looped the south end of campus before returning to the track to finish.

Twelve-year-old runner Charlie King said he finds running enjoyable despite the difficulty of the end of the race.

“This is a fun run. While there will be some very good runners in the event, for the majority of the participants, their goal is to have fun and to work on being a little more healthy,” Padilla said.

All participants celebrated their personal victories with BYU’s traditional blue pancakes.

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