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School honors legacy of a departed alumna with 5k walk/run

Cassandra Milnes
Connector Editor

For Homecoming weekend this year, UMass Lowell will host the 21st annual Jennifer D‘Amour 5K Run & Walk at the Tsongas Center.

The event, which will take place on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 10 a.m., was established by UMass Lowell for alumna Jennifer D‘Amour. D’Amour was a runner for the UMass Lowell cross-country team and a staff member at the office of Student Activities and Leadership from 1994–1998.

The scholarship was announced in 1998, but it is now run in her memory after she was killed in a car accident in May of 1999.

Participants will start at the Tsongas Center and loop around East Campus, eventually ending at the Aiken street recreational field, where participants will be presented with medals.  According to the UMass Lowell event website, there are medals for the first 100 finishers, as well as awards for the female and male top three in all seven categories. Categories include under 19, 20–39, 40–49, 50–70, 70+, alumni and non-varsity UMass Lowell students. The awards presentation will take place at 12 p.m. with an additional raffle. The first 50 registrants and all participants of the children’s race will receive moisture-wicking t-shirts.

New this year is a team competition. Teams of three will race and the team with the fastest average time will win. This race will begin at the same location as the regular 5K and will finish at the newly built UMass Lowell Campus Recreation Sports Complex located at 100 Pawtucket St.

Students, faculty and alumni wishing to participate in the 5K can register and pay their registration fee on the events Race Wire paged, linked on the UMass Lowell homecoming page. The registration fee is $10 for UMass Lowell students, $5 for UMass Lowell students who belong to a club and $25 for anyone else. The Rowdy Kids 100 Meter Dash is free to all children participating. Ruben Sanca, assistant athletic director for administration, said that all registration money for this race goes to fund two scholarships for women’s track and field.

Participants can also register day of at the event. To register on the day of the event, participants need to arrive at the Tsongas Center between 8:30–9:30 a.m. The race will begin after the children’s 100-meter dash to kick off the event at 9:45 a.m.

Sanca said that anyone and everyone is invited to this race, and he encouraged everyone to bring friends, family and neighbors of all ages and backgrounds. In years prior, the average participant outcome was 100, but so far, registration is proving this year’s outcome may be much bigger. Part of the reason is linked to the university’s “early-bird special” which gave participants who registered before Sept. 1 two free hockey tickets to UMass Lowell’s mens hockey game that Saturday night.

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