WMU News

Homecoming begins with annual Campus Classic

Oct. 1, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- Hundreds of runners, walkers and spectators will take to the streets around Western Michigan University at 8:15 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, for the WMU Homecoming Campus Classic, an annual event that draws students, alumni, campus faculty and staff, and supporters from the Kalamazoo community.

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"For five years we've given WMU supporters and the residents of West Michigan alike a prime opportunity to take in the striking beauty of our campus while embracing those things that make homecoming here a unique experience," says WMU Associate Vice President for University Relations Matt Kurz, whose office coordinates the event. "Those who have joined us before say it's a great way to kick off homecoming day, and the energy and excitement it generates makes it enjoyable for everyone who attends."

The race debuted in 1999 with about 850 participants. Last year, more than 1,700 runners and volunteers gathered, making it one of Michigan's largest running events. This year, with homecoming as the focal point of the ongoing WMU Centennial Celebration, University officials expect another large turnout.

The 2003 Campus Classic begins at 8:15 a.m. in front of the Bernhard Center with a 1K Fun Walk and the 1K Kids' Fun Run. At 9 a.m., WMU President Judith I. Bailey will give the starting signal for hundreds of runners to begin pounding the pavement for the 5K Run. The event offers runners the option of using a ChampionChip---an automatic timing device---to determine how long it takes them to navigate the certified 5K course.

"The Campus Classic is fast-becoming a tradition among race participants and those who help make it happen," says Kurz, who notes the increasing numbers of repeat runners and volunteers. "In addition to drawing a record number of runners in 2002, upward of 300 course marshals, finish line reporters, and registration, logistics and food table assistants volunteered for the event. Just as many will be needed Oct. 11."

The majority of assistance is needed between 6 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. when volunteers will do everything from handing out shirts and gift bags to encouraging runners and doling out water from the sidelines.

Registration is still open for those who want to run or walk, and fees for individuals or teams remain affordable. The easiest way to reserve a space for the race or to volunteer is by visiting the Homecoming Campus Classic Web site at <www.wmich.edu/race> and completing an online form. Forms also are available from the WMU in 300 E. Walwood Hall and at select locations around campus and throughout the community.

All participants and volunteers will receive complimentary T-shirts and brunch and will be eligible to win door prizes, including an airline travel voucher valued at $500. In addition, those runners who post the best finish times in the 5K race will be recognized with special awards.

Registration packet pickup will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, at Gazelle Sports on the mall in downtown Kalamazoo. Pickup and in-person late registration will continue from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10, and 7 to 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, in Room 105 of the Bernhard Center. Doors to the registration area will close promptly at 9 a.m. on Saturday.

Sponsors for the 2003 event are WWMT Channel 3, AAA Travel, Signature Printing Company, Kellogg's, Gazelle Sports, WMU Catering, Minute Maid, WQLR Q-106.5 FM and Dasani.

For more information about the Campus Classic, call the at (269) 387-8402 or visit the race Web site at <www.wmich.edu/race>.

Media contact: Gail H. Towns, 616 387-8400, gail.towns@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
269 387-8400