The annual Butler-Wilson 5k, a run/walk and charity fundraiser benefiting the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, was held for the tenth time on Saturday morning. Nearly 200 participants, including students, faculty and staff, and members of surrounding communities, ran on a course that looped from Bloomberg Arch to Streicker Bridge, central campus, and back.
Typically held after the first or second week of classes, the event is organized each year by one or two of the resident graduate students in Butler College. The course is officially certified by USA Track & Field, and the race was professionally timed by Tri-State timing.
Through registration fees and donations, the 5k consistently raises several thousand dollars for TASK: its nine-year donational total is over $22,000.
Mary Prokop, a residential graduate student in Butler College who led the organization of this year’s race, said that the annual donation from the race makes a significant impact on TASK.
“Because we have formed such a good relationship with [TASK] over the years, we know that it's really helpful to them to be able to count on our donation every year,” Prokop said.
Prokop estimated that the race generated $2,300 in donations this year. A representative from TASK could not be reached at the time of publication.
Organizing the race required over 30 hours of work throughout the summer, Prokop said. Early steps included getting the date approved by campus recreation, booking a professional timing company, and securing sponsors in order to provide prizes to the top finishers. In the week before the race, organizers worked to advertise the event and recruit volunteers from Butler and Wilson Colleges to register runners, stock water stations, and perform other day-of tasks.
This year, sponsorships came from about a dozen local organizations, including The Bent Spoon, Olives, Princeton Running Company, and Small World Coffee. Prizes such as gift cards were given to raffle winners, the two largest registered teams, and the fastest three male and female runners. This year, the top male finisher was Liam Collins ’19 and the top female runner was Barrett Gray ’20.
Gray said she ran the 5k with other members of the Princeton Running Club.
“Running club always does [the 5k] as our first kind of race of the season,” she said. “It’s a good way to get started with a nice relaxed race.”
No University affiliation is necessary to register for the event, which annually attracts runners through advertisements in online race directories such as Running in the USA. This year, the youngest participants were five-year-old twins and the oldest was a 71-year-old man from California.
“We actually have great representation from the community, even outside of Princeton as a town,” Prokop said.
“I really like [the 5k] because you see a nice swath of campus,” said Bryan LaPointe GS, who ran the race for the second year in a row. “It’s for a great cause, and you also feel good about doing it yourself because it’s good exercise,”
The race was held at 10 a.m. It was followed by free refreshments for runners and an awards ceremony where the prizes were distributed.