Campus Recreation to host GRAND Finale 5K

Celia Harmelink

Headline: Campus Recreation to host GRAND Finale 5K

Subhead: Portion of proceeds to benefit student organizations

By: Celia Harmelink

[email protected]

Grand Valley State University Campus Recreation, along with various student organizations and clubs, is hosting the GRAND Finale 5K Run/Walk Saturday, April 8, at 9 a.m. The run is expected to draw between 150 and 200 participants.

During the race, participants will walk or run through campus, starting and ending at the Cook Carillon Tower. The course runs through the main campus, South Apartments and past the freshman dormitories on the north end of campus.

Students can register online until Friday, April 7, for $20 or the morning of the race between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. for $25. Racers can choose one of Campus Recreation’s listed student organization partners to receive a portion of their registration fee.

Once registered, students need to pick up a packet in the Campus Recreation Office Friday, April 7, between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. or in the Kirkhof Center Lobby Saturday, April 8, from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

The race will have professional timing, provided by PrimeNRG.

“With the timing company, you’re going to get pretty instant results when you cross the finish line,” said Kate Harmon, director of Campus Recreation. “It’ll be really good. I’m looking forward to it.”

Race winners will be awarded medals, and afterwards, there will be music, refreshments and giveaways. Students that run in a cap and gown will be placed in a drawing to win a Fitbit.

“We have some pretty good prizes,” Harmon said. “So, for our runners in each age division, we’re going to give out medals for first, second and third place, and then we’re doing raffles for some of the other prizes, but really, the more attractive prizes will be for the people that come and show up in a cap and gown.”

Harmon believes events like this provide a fun atmosphere for people to exercise.

“Oftentimes, people do (runs) with friends,” she said. “Sometimes people run for a cause or a personal fitness goal, competition or just for the community of the event. So, I think it’s high energy, very social.

“Also, it can be as competitive as participants want, so our 5K you can run, but you can also walk, so there’s an element of competition for those that are competitive, but it can also be a social, healthy event for those that are not interested in the competition side of things.”

Brian Thompson, an exercise technician at the Recreation Center, agreed this race is something that will be fun for anyone who participates.

“The GRAND Finale 5K is a good chance for people to compete against friends and to experience the campus in a different way,” he said.

Harmon advises race runners to stay hydrated and come dressed appropriately for the weather.

D’Mya Davis, an exercise technician and small-group instructor at the Recreation Center, believes participants shouldn’t overexert themselves.

“It’s not too long of a race, but you really have to learn how to pace so you don’t die out,” Davis said. “I do a lot of tempo and pacing work with my clients and afterwards hit on core and the strength aspect so they can finish the race.

“(My) advice is just know your body. Don’t try to go all out and burn out the first mile. Keep a good pace, and then once you feel that last mile, then go all out.”

This is the first year Campus Recreation has hosted an event like this, but Harmon is optimistic for the future.

“Hopefully, we can grow the race as the years go on and make it an annual campus tradition,” she said.

To learn more and register for the event, visit