Racers line up at the starting line with the Gator mascot before SF State’s 7th annual 5K Walk, Run, and Roll on April 28, 2019, inviting students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends to be active. (TRISTEN ROWEAN/Golden Gate Xpress)
Friends, family and teammates gathered for the eighth annual SF State “5k Walk, Run and Roll” April 28 at Malcolm X Plaza.
One of the goals of this year’s run was not only to promote a healthy active lifestyle but to bring awareness to zero waste.
Educational booths were set up along the plaza to teach people how to recycle and reuse. Students could enter a raffle for prizes like reusable bottles and gym bags.
Justin Jones, a personal trainer and staff during the event, said this year’s race was different because of the environmental awareness aspect.
“This one is focused on zero waste,” Jones said. “We’re all trying to eliminate as much waste as possible because there is a lot of plastic use and [we want] to reduce the number of straws. That’s a big issue.
“Even by running we’re helping the environment run by breathing the CO2 out of our bodies,” he said. “It’s all interconnected with each other—from nature to people.”
There were over 150 participants, according to the staff.
Andrew Velazquez had the fastest time in the 5k. He ran the race in 19 minutes and 22 seconds.
Velazquez, 34, is a SF State alumnus working as a Title IX investigator in the Student Services building.
Velazquez may have had the upper hand since he has competed marathon and triathlons.
“I always want to participate in the school events,” Velazquez said. “I like to show support and I guess do it really well.”
Participants walked, jogged or ran around the campus twice, starting and ending at the Cesar Chavez Student Center. There were lawn games to play like giant Connect Four and cornhole for anyone who were at the event.
Gunner Troy, his friend Emily Smith and his dog Zeus ran a 5k for the first time.
Troy is part of Gator Strong group on campus. Though it was his first time running, the senior said he felt inspired to run because fitness is one of his passions.
“It’s great to be out here and support everybody else trying to get in shape,” Troy said. “I’m just here to share my smile and spread the love.”
Velazquez, the second place Vincent Gully and third place Ricardo won gift cards, flasks and medals.
The team with the fastest average was the water polo team who had their faces painted blue. The four teammates didn’t run to train, but they decided to join the race for fun. They also had a game against CSU Monterey Bay at noon.
“We feel like it’s more team bonding,” Jonathon Ramos said. “We wanted to push ourselves, better ourselves and this was a good way to do it.”
Many participants found the experience enriching and would do it again. All runners got food, a shirt and small gym bag with entry fee.
Kent Lorenz, a kinesiology professor at SF State, participated in last year’s event was pleased with the way this year’s event turned out.
“It was great. It was a lot of fun,” Lorenz said. “It was a nice course and it was well organized. We got a beautiful day and was a little faster than I was last year. It was a large crowd that showed good energy.”