The University of Mississippi Department of Campus Recreation has partnered with Color My College to host a 5-K run benefiting Special Olympics Mississippi.
Participants will run through the Ole Miss campus on the morning of April 16 while being covered with red and blue powder.
“Color My College asked our department to select a nonprofit organization we would like our race to benefit,” said Amanda Alpert, coordinator of intramural sports for the Department of Campus Recreation.
“I was very involved with Special Olympics at my previous institution in Michigan and wanted to continue that involvement here in Mississippi. Our intramural sports program already began working with Special Olympics with the Unified Egg Bowl, and we saw this as another great opportunity to strengthen our partnership.”
The Special Olympics provides year-round sports training for all children and adults with intellectual disabilities, allowing them to develop physical fitness and have fun sharing these experiences with friends and family.
“We had 655 participants in the run last year, which helped us raise more than $3,000 for Special Olympics,” Alpert said. “My goal for the 2016 race is to get Special Olympics more involved.”
For this year’s race, organizers have added a “Sponsor a Special Olympics Athlete” option on the registration site. Special Olympics staff will help find athletes who are interested in participating and utilize any sponsorships that are purchased.
Any extra sponsorship funds will go directly to Special Olympics.
The run starts at 9 a.m. outside Faser Hall, and participants will enjoy a pre-party featuring music, contests, prizes and a Zumba pump-up.
The fun doesn’t stop when the run is over. During the Color My College after-party, participants are guaranteed to get blasted from head to toe in red and blue.
“I had so much fun running last year,” said Cate Clay, a integrated marketing communications major at Ole Miss. “It was such a cool experience to run through the Grove with all of my friends getting covered in red and blue. All of my friends are so excited about it and can’t wait.”
Registration is required for all participants. The fee is $38 for individuals and $34 for Ole Miss students with a valid student ID through April 8. For April 9-14, the fee is $44 for individuals and $39 for students. On-site registration at the race will be $49 for individuals and $44 for UM students.
Teams of four or more people get a 10 percent discount on registration fees and children ages 10 and under can participate for free. For more information, visit the Color My College website for the Ole Miss race.
“Ole Miss students and the community have so much pride for this institution.” Alpert said. “Everyone seemed to have a fantastic time last year, and I am excited to see it all come together again. I think it is safe to say we will be hosting this event each year because of the large response we get from the university and community.”