When Lauren Halberstadt showed up to volunteer at the Paterno Family Beaver Stadium Run in 2010, she had no idea she’d spend the morning standing next to Sue Paterno putting safety pins in runner bags. At the time she was a sophomore and knew she had to get more involved the following year.
“Sue’s enthusiasm for the Beaver Stadium Run and Special Olympics is contagious. When she approached me to be the Volunteer Coordinator in 2011, I happily agreed and have enjoyed working with her ever since,” said Lauren, who will graduate with her Ph.D. in Spanish and Language Science in May. She’s looking forward to her eighth Run this weekend.
This year’s Beaver Stadium Run will take place on Sunday, April 23 at 11 a.m. The annual event raises money for Special Olympics Pennsylvania. Participants can choose between a 5k run or 2 mile walk.
The Run will begin in the vicinity of the Bryce Jordan Center on Curtin Road, move through campus, and conclude with runners racing through the Beaver Stadium Tunnel and onto the Nittany Lions’ home turf to “finish at the fifty!” Students receive a special discounted rate of $20 and can sign up ahead of time online or on the day of the event. Students should bring their PSU ID to the race. All participants will receive an official Beaver Stadium Run t-shirt, bottled water, and other refreshments.
Last year more than 3,000 runners and walkers took part in the annual event sponsored by the Sheetz family, raising nearly $426,000. Proceeds from the Run will help underwrite the cost of participation for more than 2,000 athletes at the 2017 Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) Summer Games held at Penn State in June.
New this year is the opportunity for those who are unable to join the Run on April 23 to register as a Virtual Participant. Virtual running/walking is a way to participate that can be done at any location, any time, any pace, and at the distance of the participant’s discretion (3.1 mile run or a 2 mile fun walk). Interested parties can walk, jog, use the treadmill, run outside, or participate in another “real-world” race as long as their activity transpires between April 1 and April 30 to closely coincide with the official Beaver Stadium Run.
The Beaver Stadium Run is a Law Enforcement Torch Run event that includes individuals from law enforcement, SOPA athletes, the Paterno and Sheetz families, various Penn State groups, members of the community, and hundreds of Sheetz, Inc. employees. The fun-filled event will also feature an array of celebrity participants that include the voice of Penn State Football, Steve Jones; Penn State head football coach, James Franklin; and Hall of Fame Steelers Running Back, Franco Harris, who will serve as the official starter for the Run.
Participants can also raise funds online for added incentives by creating their own fundraising page to garner support from their friends, family and co-workers.
Race day registration opens at 7:30 a.m. at Medlar Field, and the Run will begin at approximately 11 a.m. Access to the field will be for participants only. Spectators will enter the stadium through Gate B at 11 a.m. for available 50-yard line seating.
About Special Olympics Pennsylvania
Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) provides year-round training and competition in 21 Olympic-type sports to nearly 20,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities or closely related developmental disabilities. For more information about how to be a fan, visit our website at www.specialolympicspa.org/.