Courtesy of Terry Li '17

Attendees line up in the Plantations on Sunday at the first annual Big Red Thon 5K.

September 19, 2016

Cornellians Run to Fundraise for Children’s Hospital, Spread Awareness of Big Red Thon

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Twenty-five students ran five kilometers in the Cornell Plantations on Sunday to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network and promote Cornell’s annual Big Red Thon.

The Big Red Thon is a dance marathon that occurs every November at colleges across the country, according to Terry Li ’17, Big Red Thon fundraising chair and an organizer of the 5K.

Working in partnership with the Children’s Miracle Network — which helps fund children’s hospitals and medical research — Cornellians hope to raise $60,000 for the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital in Syracuse, according to Li.

Li said she planned the 5K — the first one ever associated with the Big Red Thon — relying on the assumption that Cornell students are “very health conscious” and “enjoy being outdoors.”

“The weather in Ithaca during this time of year is beautiful, and I thought it would be nice to hold an event outdoors where students could enjoy our campus, fresh air and sunlight,” she said. “I chose the Plantations because many 5K’s have been held there in the past, and it is just the most beautiful location for a 5K race to be held.”

Participant Jake Byman ’17 said it was “really nice” to explore the Cornell Plantations during the run.

“I had never run a 5K before, and I wanted to challenge myself,” Byman said.

Alex Ciampaglia ’20, who also participated in the run, agreed, adding that the event was a “lovely chance to get out on a Sunday morning and do something nice.”

“It wasn’t anything huge, just a little bit of exercise and helping out a charity, but you can come back for lunch feeling that you made a little bit of a difference,” Ciampaglia said. “The money is going to a cause that I know will make good use of it.”

All runners finished the race in less than 30 minutes and were rewarded with an assortment of bagels from Collegetown Bagels and a laptop sticker as a prize, according to Li.

Because this was the event’s kick-off year, Li said only 40 people registered and approximately 25 attended.

“I hope word will spread and more people will want to take part next year in support of our cause,” she said. “I am hoping the 5K will become an annual event, so it can grow in popularity.”