Inaugural ‘Run for the Roses’ event to benefit various K-State Garden projects

(Photo courtesy of Terry Olson)

It’s time to swap out those gardening gloves for running shoes as Kansas State hosts its first Run for the Roses 5K and a 1K guided garden walk.

The run starts at 9 a.m. and goes until 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 30, beginning and ending at the K-State Gardens. The course is also USAFT certified, so if individual requirements are met, runners’ names will become published on K-State records for completing the course.

Starting at 1500 Denison Ave., runners will take a lap inside the World War I Memorial Stadium and tour Anderson Hall, the Student Union and Ahearn Fieldhouse, among other campus buildings.

All proceeds from the event will benefit various K-State Garden projects, including a new reflecting pool, the restoration of K-State’s Conservatory and general rose garden improvement. Using the funds from a recent $10,000 grant, 181 new rose bushes were just installed in the garden.

Terry Olson, a local runner, “Friends of the Gardens” board member and volunteer for the Run for the Roses race committee, expressed her excitement for the event.

“The uniqueness of this course goes by everybody’s favorite landmarks on campus,” Olson said. “I love running this course. … It’s a fun challenge.”

Olson has been running the course each Sunday in preparation for the race.

Garrett Hoffman, senior in park management conservation, volunteered to run for the event. Hoffman said he has been running multiple miles a day to ready himself for the race.

“I’m excited to support the rose garden since it was donated by my fraternity [Pi Kappa Phi],” Hoffman said. “I hope to see bigger and better things for the future of the garden.”

Andrew Beckley, freshman in business finance, expressed absolute zeal for Run for the Roses.

“It’s going to be radical! I’ve been training for a couple of months now, so I’m determined to win it,” Beckley said.

First, second and third-place winners will receive a rose-shaped succulent plant in a charmingly glazed purple pot, with t-shirts, snacks and participant medals available for everyone.

The Run for the Roses event is still searching for around twelve more volunteers to direct runners along its course. The race committee hopes other teams sign up to become eligible for their names to become plastered on a plaque that will remain on display at the gardens forever.

More information about volunteering or enrolling in the race is available through the event website.