5K honors Fallen Soldiers and Alumni through scholarships

Marc Ramirez, News editor

Rain or shine, Western Illinois University’s eighth annual Fallen Soldiers 5K has been booked for Saturday, Sept. 21. Participants of all ages are encouraged to come out and honor those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Packet pick-up is set for Friday, Sept. 20 and can be picked up anytime between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. in Western Hall. Then, the following morning racers and spectators will gather in Western Hall to check in between 7 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. followed by a short opening ceremony at 8:30 a.m.

The 5K is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. Runners who registered on or before Sept. 2 will be guaranteed a shirt, finishers medal and a $25 early-bird entry fee. Open registration is $35 and is currently open and will remain open until race day. Students can register for the race for $10. Trophies will also be awarded to the overall male and female finishers and ribbons will be awarded to the first place finishers in selected age groups. This year’s course will be time chipped.

Participants are welcomed to bring strollers to run with; however, rollerblades, skates, skateboards, scooters, pets and bikes are not permitted during the run. This year, runners, spectators and community members have the opportunity to honor a vet by purchasing lawn signs with the veterans name on it along the race route on race day. The sign is $50 and can be purchased by calling 309-298-1861 or by filling out the form online.

Runners can register at wiu.edu/ fallensoldiers, turn in their race registration form to Abbie Pendarvis in Sherman 303 or mail them to WIU Foundation. To register for the virtual race, runners pay the registration fee plus a $7.90 flat-rate shipping price. Checks can be made payable to WIU Foundation.

All race proceeds benefit the Fallen Soldiers 5K Scholarship Fund at Western. The scholarship is named in honor of Capt. Derek Dobogai and Lt. Col. Robert Baldwin, Western alum killed in the line of duty.

“Since 2012, the WIU Fallen Soldiers 5K Run/Walk has raised more than $112,000 for the WIU Fallen Soldiers’ Scholarship Fund, which honors the two alumni who were killed in the line of duty,” University Relations reported. “With close to 500 participants, the WIU event is the largest race in McDonough County.” Everyone who plans on attending the event should park in designated parking in Q-Lot.