Alyssa Tyler copy editor
A 5k and 1-mile fun run was hosted in Gorilla Village on Sept. 10 by the Honors College. All proceeds from the race went to the ALS Association Midamerica Chapter in support of Pittsburg State University professor, Craig Fuchs.
“Some of my students from the Honors College have organized this 5k run and 1-mile fun run. It’s all to support the ALS foundation, I was diagnosed in February, so this is just to help make money to continue research. There’s no cure for this disease, and there needs to be a cure for this disease. So, this money will help with that,” Fuchs said.
Approximately 200 people attended the event and approximately 160 participated in either the 5k or the fun run, with another 60 volunteering.
“Overwhelming, and just to see all these people, I mean I had no idea what to expect, but this is going to be an awesome morning. The kids have done just a fantastic job getting this organized,” said Fuchs.
Junior in biology and a member of the Honors College, Erik Jantz won the 5k overall with a time of 18:09.
“I’m out here for a variety of reasons, to support Dr. Fuchs, help raise funds for ALS, and I love running. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to race,” Jantz said.
For participants to enter, they had to pay a racing fee with all the fee going to the ALS Foundation.
“I think first and foremost it’s to raise money for the foundation, to help with research. But also raising awareness. I didn’t know anything about ALS, it was out there. But people need to know that it’s a disease that’s out there and needs a cure. Just like a student I just talked to, he’s a former student of mine, his dad has ALS, there’s people out there with it. It’s just not a widely known disease so we need to spread the word,” Fuchs said.
The 5k was chosen as the fundraising event for a variety of reasons.
“Honestly, ease, there’s not a lot of equipment required. It’s mostly just volunteers and getting permission from the university. So, there’s not a lot of cost or material needed for the whole thing,” said Niamh Dixon, senior in biology.
The name of the 5k also held importance to the Honors College.
“He ended every meeting, banquet or event, with the little message of inspiration, ‘Go Forth and Conquer” just to let us know that we’re capable of doing big things. So that was just to highlight the impact he’s had on us and helpfully we can impact him today,” Dixon said.
The goal is for the 5k and fun run to become an annual event, although nothing is set in stone yet.
“He’s shown his admiration, love, and generosity through the years. He opens his home up, he always offers resounding advice professionally or personally. So, all our cohort felt like we needed to give back to him in some way,” Dixon said.