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Saturday, November 27, 2021

Stride for Aggie Pride 5K raises funds for students

Looking to complete the 50 Aggie Traditions? By running the Second Annual Stride for Aggie Pride 5K on May 18, students can successfully check number nine off their lists.

As of now, 2,550 participants are pre-registered to embark on a 3.1 mile running adventure through some of the key sights of the UC Davis campus, including the Arboretum and Quad. All participants who register by the early registration deadline, April 4, will be guaranteed a shirt.

“Our main goal is to collectively, as an Aggie community, support this event and the purpose: to help Aggies in need,” said Artem Trotsyuk, founder of the Stride for Aggie Pride 5K. “I am very excited that so many people have signed up so far.”

While working as the Student Assistant to the Chancellor last year, Trotsyuk noticed that there was a lack of races geared toward student philanthropy in the Davis community and eventually proposed the idea of holding a 5K on campus.

“I am very passionate about health and wellness and I figured I would work on my passion by organizing a philanthropic fun run on the UC Davis campus that promotes health and wellness in a fun way — while at the same time raising money for student scholarships,” Trotsyuk said.

By serving as the ex officio director and the marketing lead of the race this year, Trotsyuk works closely with professional staff, administrators and students across campus to expand upon event publicity and sponsorship opportunities.

Among the several organizations and individuals that Trotsyuk collaborates with, ASUCD continues to stand as an integral component due to the fact that the Stride for Aggie Pride 5K is chiefly run by students.

In order to specifically address any and all ASUCD matters pertaining to the 5K, Gareth Symthe, a second-year political science and history double major and president pro tempore of ASUCD Senate, has adopted the role as an ASUCD liaison for the 5K.

“This event was the first of its kind that allowed for the campus and community to show support for those Aggies who need help finishing their undergraduate education,” Smythe said. “In addition, it was the first of its kind in the sense that the event was student led.”

All proceeds will directly benefit the ASUCD Endowment Fund and We Are Aggie Pride, a program which provides short-term financial assistance to students.

“Last year, we raised $17,500 and this year we are looking to double this,” said Samuel Sugarman, competitive sport manager of UC Davis Campus Recreation and Unions and student chair of the Stride for Aggie Pride 5K.

After becoming appointed by Laura Hall, the director of recreation, Sugarman took on the role by overseeing the general logistics of the event.

“Last year with the course there were some bottlenecks that we needed to fix and we just had to figure out logistically how we were going to deal with those. We ironed out those problems pretty quickly,” Sugarman said. “Fortunately, we could still keep the general course going and still show off what Davis has to offer, whether it’s through the Quad or the campus buildings.”

Some parts of the course which snaked through the Arboretum were too narrow for the 1,850 participants who signed up last year, and Sugarman noticed that many people had to walk due to the small space.

Due to the need for wider pathways, the race route has been moved up to Old Davis Road.

Sugarman stated that bigger trails were necessary to ensure the overall safety of those participating in the event.

Additionally, the racecourse has been deliberately mapped out in ways to include scenery that not every participant may have the opportunity to view on a daily basis.

“It showcases all that UC Davis has to offer to the community [and to the] UC Davis students who don’t get to go down to the Arboretum or don’t get to go through the Quad because their classes are on the other side of campus,” Sugarman said.

Along with displaying the dominant features on campus, the event will also showcase multiple acapella and musical groups. At the end of the race, participants can celebrate their feat as they enjoy musical performances on the Quad.

Although the race inevitably comes to an end, Sugarman has noticed several participants who continue to represent the event throughout the course of the year.

“I still spot students running around campus in the Stride for Aggie Pride 5K shirts and that is one of the coolest things to see,” Sugarman said.

While students support the 5K through volunteering and participating in the event, the race supports students in return as funds will help to generate the UC Davis scholarship programs.

“You can never really have enough to help students and our goal here to raise awareness,” Sugarman said. “Some students cannot pay for school and with rising tuition costs, it’s causing some students to even drop out of school and we want to try and help as much as we can. If that means putting on a 5K and a fair for the students, then that’s a great way to start.”

LUJAIN AL-SALEH can be reached at features@theaggie.org.

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