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Homecoming 5K race expected to draw 1,500

Oct. 21, 2005

KALAMAZOO--More than 1,500 runners, walkers and spectators will take to the streets around Western Michigan University at 8:15 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, for the Homecoming Campus Classic, an annual 5K run and 1K walk and kids' fun run through WMU's main campus.

Now in its seventh year, the Campus Classic has become one of the most popular homecoming events at the University, drawing students, alumni, campus faculty and staff, and supporters from the Kalamazoo community, according to Matt Kurz, WMU associate vice president for university relations, whose office manages the event. The race debuted in 1999 with about 850 participants and has drawn 1,400 runners or more each of the past four years.

"We expect about 1,500 runners and walkers," Kurz says. "And we'll need about 300 volunteers to assist with everything from handing out shirts and gift bags to doling out water from the sidelines and helping as course marshals."

Everyone who enters the race or serves as a volunteer will be eligible for a series for door prizes, which includes two $500 travel vouchers from AAA Travel. Specifically for WMU students, 10 free campus parking permits also will be given away. Participants must be present at the post-race drawing to receive a prize. All participants and volunteers receive complimentary T-shirts and snacks. Those runners who post the best finish times in the 5K race will be recognized with special awards.

The 2005 Campus Classic begins at 8:15 a.m. in front of the Bernhard Center with a 1K walk and the 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 and walk. The event offers runners the option of using a ChampionChip--an automatic timing device--to determine how long it takes them to navigate the 5K course. Walkers will not be timed.
Due to campus construction, both the 5K and 1K courses have been significantly changed from the routes taken in earlier years, but Kurz notes the new 5K race route is faster and better than previous courses, because it eliminates several tight turns and narrow passages of the previous courses. Both courses still begin and end in front of the Bernhard Center.

The easiest way to register for the race or to volunteer is by visiting the Campus Classic Web site at www.wmich.edu/race and completing an online form. Forms also are available from the Office of University Relations in 300 E. Walwood Hall and at select locations around campus and throughout the community.

Registration packet pickup will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, 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. 28, and 7 to 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, in Rooms 105-107 of the Bernhard Center. Doors to the registration area will close promptly at 9 a.m. on Saturday.

Sponsors for the 2004 Campus Classic are AAA Travel, Gazelle Sports, Coca Cola, Kellogg's, Little Caesars, McDonalds, Panera, Subway, Yoplait, WKFR 103.3 FM, WWMT Channel 3 and WMU Parking Services.

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

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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