By Ashley Smith
The fourth annual Endure for the Cure, an event featuring a two-mile obstacle course that raises money for charitable organizations, kicks off on April 25.
Previous events raised money for the Rich Center for Autism and various organizations benefitting cancer research.
Anna Pompeo, a wellness graduate assistant at the Andrews Student Recreation and Wellness Center, said they are adding a new organization to the list this year.
“This benefits the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, which remembers those who have fallen in their line of duty,” Pompeo said.
Steve Donahue, a fitness graduate assistant at the Rec Center, said the first Endure for the Cure was inspired by a professor who was fighting cancer.
“[Me and another student] were in our internship here at the Rec Center. One of our professors, he had a medical issue and we wanted to recognize him, and raise money and donate all of that to cancer research. Shannon Kushnereit was the other intern, and she actually took charge,” Donahue said. “It was all a way of raising money to donate to cancer research for a professor that we had at the time. The professor is still here.”
Since the inception of the event, they have selected a different organization to support each year. They contact the organization beforehand to make sure they are accepting of the initiative.
They are hoping to improve on last year’s numbers.
“A lot of the funds come from registries, our participants, so our main goal is to get at least 100 participants this year. Last year we had around 70 racers, so it’s a little bit of an increase over last year, but it’s definitely manageable,” Donahue said.
They also accept donations.
Planning for the event began early in the school year.
“We knew from the past three years — this being our fourth year doing the race —when the event would be coming, so we started having bimonthly meetings back in the fall semester,” Pompeo said. “Our committee is made up of Rec staff, with Ryan McNicholas, the coordinator of fitness and wellness programs, as our supervisor. We make all of the obstacles, build the props and design the course. Steve Donahue, fitness graduate assistant, specifically designed the course.”
Donahue said the event has evolved over the years.
“It stays relatively the same, this year we are actually expanding it to incorporate a little bit more of campus, so it’s going to be a bit longer race. We’re actually deciding to build larger obstacles this year, so it should be a lot more fun, and we’re starting construction of those,” he said. “We’re actually planning on building two four foot walls that people will have to jump over, and a balance beam as well as a wall that’s in the works that should be about eight feet tall. It’s almost like a ladder that they have to climb over, that’s in the works now.”
Things were lower key in the past.
“In previous years, we’ve just had smaller things, and I didn’t feel like that is really what we were going for. I didn’t feel like that met the title of an obstacle race. It was more like body weight squats and different small things like that,” Donahue said.
There will be awards for top finishers, and there are various methods of registering.
“Registration can be the day of, but you can register early by stopping in at the Rec to drop off your entry fee and form,” Pompeo said. “There are trophies and medals for the top finishers overall and in each age group.”
Those who wish to donate can make a check out to the Student Recreation Advisory Committee and mail it to the Rec Center.