Manhattanites run ‘fasta,’ eat pasta at annual WellCAT 5K charity run

Runners race for the chance at a plate of Italian cuisine in the second annual "Run Fasta, Eat Pasta" 5K run on Saturday. WellCAT Ambassadors hosted the event to benefit Cats' Cupboard, K-State's food pantry. (Meg Shearer | Collegian Media Group)

Students, children and members of the Manhattan community gathered on the front lawn of Lafene Health Center on Saturday morning for the WellCAT Ambassadors’ second annual “Run Fasta, Eat Pasta” 5,000-meter run.

Kate Bowen, president of WellCAT and senior in kinesiology and gerontology, said the first 125 registered participants would be rewarded with an Italian meal from Olive Garden upon completing the 5K race.

In total, 160 registrants signed up for the event, Bowen said.

The charitable event benefitted Cats’ Cupboard, Kansas State’s on-campus food pantry in Fairchild Hall. Bowen said the ambassadors aimed to collect donations and spread the word just like in last year’s 5K race.

“Cats’ Cupboard has had a lot more support from the community since the first race,” Bowen said.

According to the pantry’s K-State webpage, Cats’ Cupboard offers food, hygiene items and cooking equipment to all K-State students who may “utilize the pantry as often as they see fit.”

Annie Dillon, WellCAT volunteer coordinator and sophomore in microbiology, said the event serves more purposes than promoting Cats’ Cupboard, though.

“This event is important because it’s encouraging students to get out and get fit,” Dillon said. “It also helps promote what WellCAT Ambassadors are.”

The WellCAT Ambassadors are a “group of peer educators that advocate for overall health and well-being at Kansas State University,” according to the group’s website.

“I’m a dietetics major, so health and wellness is really important to me,” said Amber Paxton, WellCAT event coordinator and senior in dietetics. “I get to promote that within the community through WellCAT.”

WellCAT Ambassadors are required to take a three-credit-hour course over peer health education and leadership. The class also certifies them in first aid, CPR and automated external defibrillator use.

The 5K race was sponsored by Olive Garden, Dunkin’ Donuts, the Dow Center for Multicultural and Community Studies, the Wildcat Wellness Coalition and Lafene Health Center.