Exciting new Mondotrack gets first runners at Ram-Falcon 5K Challenge
By Ireland Kost
CIU Student Writer
As 13-year-old Emma Martin warmed up for the Ram-Falcon 5K Challenge, she said she had never run on a Mondotrack.
“But I’m excited to see how it turns out,” she added. “I hope I do well.”
The starting and finish line for the Ram-Falcon 5 K Challenge began on the unique surface of the nearly completed $1 million Mondotrack and then circled the Columbia International University/Ben Lippen School campus. The schools share the track. When completed, the eight-lane multicolored Mondotrack will make Ben Lippen the only SCISA school with a Mondotrack, and CIU among the few South Carolina colleges with one.
The Ram (CIU mascot)-Falcon (Ben Lippen mascot) 5K Challenge was a fundraising event with entry proceeds assisting in the purchase of track and field equipment such as pole vault and high jump mats, hurdles and starting blocks.
As over 80 runners lined up for the race, CIU Track Coach Jud Brooker expressed appreciation.
“Thank you for coming and supporting Ben Lippen and CIU with our sweet, new track,” Brooker said. “One hundred percent of this money is going straight to this track.”
With the shout of “Go!” young Martin and the steady stream of runners took off. CIU student-athletes stood along the route guiding the runners along. Other CIU students came out to show their support, dressed up as “sports moms and dads,” bringing handmade signs with them. Getting up early on a Saturday, they cheered, called out encouragement, and rewarded the runners with juice packs when they crossed the finish line.
The overall winner was Columbia resident Joseph Kiprotich, finishing with a time of 18:15.
“Train hard. Win easy,” Kiprotich said of his victory.
Less than 10 minutes later, Martin, the 13-year-old, crossed the finish line. She had a good performance just as she had hoped. She took first place for the female, 14 and under division.
Coach Brooker called it a great day with over $5,000 from registration and donations raised at the event.
“This was a great opportunity for Ben Lippen and CIU to come together to officially open the track,” Brooker said. “To see the community impact that has already happened really excites us about the future as we have more track and other events on campus bringing in high schools, colleges and community runners.”
Want to run with the Rams? Find out more here.
Excitement is building on the CIU campus with a dramatic increase in enrollment and on-campus expansion including the $20 million William H. Jones Global Business & IT Center. Information on enrollment is available here or call (800) 777-2227, ext. 5024.