The cross-country team ran against 37 other schools last weekend in the Bradley “Pink” Classic in Peoria, Ill., to honor all those affected by breast cancer.
While most runners had their number posted on a pink bib, the Racers stood out by wearing all-pink uniforms.
Head Coach Jenny Severns said it was easy to support the event because so many people know others who are affected by cancer.
With a course lined in pink and with a purpose in mind, the Racers ran better than expected.
“It was a really good day for us,” Severns said. “The course had a lot of rolling hills, which I think we used to our advantage. We have never run that course before, and I think that was good, because we didn’t know what to expect.”
Junior Abbie Oliver said being a woman made the race even more meaningful.
“As a woman, breast cancer automatically means something,” she said. “It’s fun to dress up in pink and run for a purpose.”
Oliver delivered her personal best for a 6K with a time of 22:13.
“I didn’t think I would run as fast as I did,” she said. “And I was really proud of the rest of the team. They pushed really hard.”
Sophomore Brian Coleman also posted a fast time. Leading the Racers, he finished his 8K with a personal best of 26:31.
“My grandma had breast cancer, so it was good to raise awareness for something like that.” Coleman said. “We were all happy to run for such a good cause.”
Severns said she thinks it is easier to push through pain when running for a cause like this
“When you start to get tired or start to feel pain, you think about what so many women go through with breast cancer and you realize that the little bit of pain you feel is nothing,” she said.
The women’s team finished 14th out of 24 teams and 2nd of three OVC schools. The men finished 21st of 22 teams.
Both teams have two weeks out of competition before they return to the OVC tournament, which will be held at Morehead State.
Said Severns: “We are just going to keep doing what we are doing and sprinkle in a little more rest here and there.”
Story by Mallory Warmack, Contributing Writer