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I Ran A 5K At THON Weekend 2022

Have you ever been at THON and thought to yourself, “I kind of feel like running a 5K right now”?

Well, that’s how I felt on Friday night. I entered my final THON Weekend as a student knowing I wanted to take part in the endeavor, but it didn’t come to fruition until I threw my running shoes on at press row and decided I was ready to do it. I’ve never participated in THON’s annual 5K that’s held in the fall, but I felt this was a strong substitute.

Before I take you through my journey running through the BJC concourse in the early hours of Saturday morning, I’d like to make it clear that I was bobbing and weaving through obstacles throughout. I also timed myself, and according to my Kines 65 instructor, the heart rate watch I used consistently underestimates distance ran.

With those disclaimers aside, here’s a look at my 5K journey through the BJC.

As the Battle of the Bands wrapped up Friday night, I began to strap on my running shoes and get some stretches in. I had a chicken basket and popcorn in my system, so I took a little extra time to get loose. After getting myself prepped, however, I threw on my Tim Legler (1996 NBA Three-Point Contest Champion) Washington Bullets jersey and was ready to roll.

I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t awkward when I first got started. Shockingly enough, the BJC concourse is not built for someone trying to run a specific distance in a short amount of time. Most people were staring at me and wondering what the hell I was doing, but nevertheless, I persisted.

After a few minutes, Tupac’s “All Eyes on Me” came on my running playlist, and I was truly able to embrace the obvious. Everyone was looking at me, but who cares?

Now on to the obstacles. There’s obviously a lot of people at THON, and there were several bottlenecks and lines I had to negotiate at several points. I don’t want to toot my own horn too much here, but I managed to avoid literally everyone walking around or waiting in line for the bathroom, food, water, etc.

As I mentioned in the tweet, I was forced to bob and weave pretty much the entirety of “the course,” but I’m proud of how I did it. All it truly comes down to is having the vision to see holes and not hesitating to hit them. Honestly, I felt like a running back in a live football game, and I’m pretty confident I could stop by a Penn State practice and help Ja’Juan Seider implement that a little more in his group.

Here’s a video of my perspective just to give you a sense of what I was dealing with:

Despite that, I managed to keep moving fairly well. There were a couple stretches that were significantly less crowded and I was able to get a burst of speed. For a few seconds I almost felt like Saquon Barkley tearing through the open field.

I still had to manage the stop watch, however, so it was tough to find moments where I could really move quick.

That’s pretty much how it went the rest of the way. I dodged, ducked, dipped, dived, and dodged my way through the BJC concourse, and even got some cheers along the way. A couple people did start to recognize me and gave me some high fives, but it was mostly just weird looks.

So yes, I really did it. I ran a 5K at the BJC. My final time on the run was 37:15, which leaves me at a per-mile pace of just under 12 minutes.

That is certainly not fast, but I do not care. I had a great time running like crazy around the BJC for 40 minutes, and it was a great way to keep the good vibes rolling through the first night of THON 2022.

At the end of the day, isn’t a BJC 5K about the friends we made along the way? I’m not sure how many friends I made, but I’m certainly glad I did it.

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About the Author

Will Pegler

Will is a senior majoring in digital and print journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. He is from Darien, Connecticut and is a lifelong Penn State football fan. He loves a good 80's comedy movie, Peaky Blinders, The Office, and the New York Yankees and Giants. You can catch some of his ridiculous sports takes on his Twitter @gritdude and yell at him on his email [email protected]

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