By Dylan Marson

The annual Eastern Homecoming 5K will be sprinting back into Richmond with a new addition this year, as runners will get a chance to pass through a tunnel and fog before they cross the finish line on the field of Roy Kidd Stadium.

The race, which will also be kicking off the homecoming parade, will host its 40th running Oct. 21. Organized by Campus Recreation, the event brings together students, alumni and community members to celebrate the Homecoming tradition.

“This is one of those longstanding events that is important to the school and the community,” said Justin Raymer, Eastern’s assistant director for competitive sports. “We are always looking to make the event bigger and better, and this year the addition of the fog and tunnel will give runners a gameday feeling.”

Raymer expects around 250 participants in the run, as well as thousands of others crowding the streets and sidewalks to cheer them on. About 40 volunteers will be present to help pass out water, motivate the runners and guide them down the correct route.

“I was placed on one of the last curves to direct the runners and everyone was so excited to be encouraged as they got their final wind,” said Anna Brown, a junior Biology major who volunteered to help at last year’s race.

Brown said it was very pleasant to see faculty, staff, students, and people of the community walking and running through campus with smiles on their faces.

Campus Recreation recommends that anyone interested in volunteering in this year’s event should keep an eye on their website at campusrec.eku.edu for updates on how to get involved.

The race will start on Lancaster Avenue at 10 a.m., then continue down Main Street before looping back toward campus and ending on the field of Roy Kidd Stadium. For anyone interested in a map of the route, Campus Recreation provides one on their website which features an overhead view of the entire race. All the roads along the route can be expected to be blocked off from traffic.

“I haven’t ever run a 5k, and I made it part of my New Year’s resolution to get in shape and run it this year,” said Justin Gadd.

Gadd is one of the many students who are excited to participate in the event, but to some, a 5k can seem rather daunting. The event addresses those concerns by not requiring participants to run the event. The race can be completed in about an hour simply by walking the entire way. While a lot of people treat the race as a competitive event because it is timed, many treat it as a fun run as well.

Registration and check-ins will open on the day of the race at the Alumni Coliseum Practice Gym from 8 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Sign up costs will be $15, or $35 with the purchase of a shirt. All participants in the race are strongly advised to park in the upper Commonwealth parking lot.