Payton Clark, assistant news editor
Homecoming weekend and GO trips – two of the only things that gather the OBU family together to run at 7 am.
Saturday November 12, the RAWC is holding the fifth annual Bison Stampede races.
Beginning at 7 am, participants have the chance to join in a number of different races that occur across the OBU campus and Shawnee.
“This event will feature a one mile walk, sanctioned 5K, and 10K races,” RAWC Director Andrea Wooldridge said.
“This event is open to anyone and we would like to encourage all OBU students and employees to participate to connect with the Alumni, it’s a great day to start off the festivities of Homecoming.”
While emphasizing the growth of the campus in the route of the races, the Bison Stampede is intended to bring students, staff and alumni together.
“In it’s the fifth year the Bison Stampede was created as a part of the Homecoming festivities to showcase the campus’s growth,” Wooldridge said.
The Bison Stampede also serves as an annual fundraiser, and this year’s earnings will go towards funding Global Outreach trips.
“In the years past we have donated over 10,000 dollars. All proceeds from this year’s race go towards OBU students participating in Global Outreach (GO) trips,” Wooldridge said.
While many students participate by running, they can also help by volunteering. Those interested can contact Wooldridge at email@example.com
“We always have opportunities to volunteer because we like to make the course fun for all runners,” Wooldridge said.
“We need course marshals to encourage the runners along the way, give them high five, cheer them on and just make sure they are going the right way.”
Having participated in many different 5k, 10k and other races since 2010, professor of music Dr. James Vernon particularly enjoys running in the Bison Stampede because of its differences from other races.
“I like that I don’t have to get up at 4 am and drive an hour to an event, it’s close,” Dr. Vernon said. “It’s also for a great cause, this year it is for GO trips.”
Vernon, an avid runner, has participated in every Bison Stampede event so far.
“The Stampede is fun – there are lots of people you know, everyone has a good time, and it’s usually cold enough that you enjoy the running to stay warm,” Vernon said.
“I like the atmosphere at running races because everyone is very supportive of one another.”
With Dr. Vernon, the fun doesn’t stop with just the race itself. He is holding a competition with the members of his women’s choir, the Bisonettes, also known as the Betties.
“Any Bettie who runs the 5k and beats my 10k time wins a free pizza,” Dr. Vernon said. “Any Bettie who runs the 10k and beats me wins $100.”
Sophomore pre-allied health major Savannah Payne will be participating in her fourth Bison Stampede race, running the 5k.
“My parents are OBU alumni, so even before I was going here we always came up for homecoming,” Payne said. “Since my sister and I both enjoy running, we decided that the Bison Stampede would be a fun homecoming tradition to start participating in.”
Payne thinks that all students should consider participating in Saturday’s Bison Stampede in one way or another.
“I would encourage everyone to participate in the Bison Stampede if you can,” Payne said.
“If running isn’t your thing, I know that the groups of students who volunteer throughout the course on race day are very appreciated by the runners. It’s really encouraging to have someone cheering you on when it gets tough, and volunteers get free t-shirts.”