University Spirit Run 5K celebrates launch of two new health sciences programs at USMH
Runners and walkers will have an opportunity to share their school spirit at the University Spirit Run 5K in downtown Hagerstown.
Race coordinator Denise Horner, who is a development associate for University System of Maryland at Hagerstown, said the race is a first-time event.
“This is something we’ve dreamed about doing,” she said. “The university system is expanding its footprint downtown. The race is a way of celebrating that entire footprint.”
Registration opens at 8 a.m. and the race will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 1, at University Plaza adjacent to USMH on Washington Street. Participants are encouraged to wear colors and garb of their favorite Maryland university. The race will start at the new Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Health Sciences Center and pass by a new student housing facility on Antietam Street before winding through town. The route will include the Hagerstown Cultural Trail and finish up across from University Plaza. Registration costs $25 in advance and $30 on race day.
Six universities offer programs thought USMH – Frostburg State University, Towson University, Salisbury University, University of Maryland University College and Coppin State University. University of Maryland Eastern Shore is slated to kick off a hospitality and tourism degree program through the system beginning in fall 2019, Horner said.
USMH is hosting the University Spirit Run 5K to celebrate the launch of two new health sciences programs to be offered through the center, she said. There will be a master of medical science in physician assistant studies through Frostburg University at the system’s Walnut Street facility, and a bachelor of science in community health offered through Salisbury.
USMH is housed at various locations. The run is “kind of a way of connecting all the different buildings that are part of our university system.”
“This is a healthy event that celebrates two new health sciences programs. We are not just the building at 32 W. Washington St. We are spread out with Walnut Street and student housing on Potomac Street,” Horner said. “The course visually links the buildings and different elements of our campus.”
In addition to drawing attention to the two new programs, Horner said the race will highlight “the hope and energy of the students and folks we have here.”
“There is a spirit downtown where people work so hard and they never give up,” she said. “A lot of our students work full-time. They parent, they volunteer and they go to school, so we really want to celebrate that grit and spirit.”
Racine MultiSports will provide chip timing for the race and there will be water stations along the course. Runners and walkers will receive an event T-shirt, souvenir photo and a swag bag, and they will be eligible for prize drawings. Many prizes have Maryland and Maryland university-themes, including tickets to a Frederick Keys baseball game, a Washington Nationals baseball game, tickets to a Maryland Terrapins football game and more.
Prizes will be awarded for overall male and female winners in various age groups.
There will be a Most Spirited University name on a trophy that will be on display in the USMH lobby for one year. While the event is open to the public, students and alumni of the universities of the system are encouraged to sign up and show their school pride.
“We want to celebrate all the different universities that we have here with the Spirit Run,” Horner said. “We will see which university can get the most people registered to run or walk. The university who has the most spirit with the most participants will get a little bit of bragging rights.”
Following the awards ceremony, Horner said, USMH is encouraging race participants to check out downtown sites and restaurants for lunch and to have a “fun day in Hagerstown.”
The city of Hagerstown has been helpful and supportive in planning for the event. Hagerstown City Council members met for a special session “outside of regular time” to approve the race, she said.
“City people drew up the route. The police have helped with road closures and they’ll be setting up signs in advance. We really appreciate all they’ve done,” Horner said.
Top photo: Participants in the University Spirit Run 5K will sport spirit wear from their favorite universities which plan to have mascots there to cheer them on. (Submitted photo)