The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Finish on the 50′ benefits Weis’ charity

Nora Kenney | Monday, April 20, 2009

As the theme song to the Notre Dame football film “Rudy” played Saturday morning, runners made their way around campus to “Finish on the 50,” a 5K race and one-mile walk to benefit Hannah & Friends, the charity founded by Irish coach Charlie Weis.

The race began at 8 a.m. and wrapped around the south edge of campus, cutting through each of the quads before finishing where it began, at the stadium. Racers had the chance to run or walk through the tunnel and proceed to the finish, adjacent to the 50-yard line.

Freshmen Julia Sutton ran the race with her mother, Sherry, and said she was especially excited about finishing to the Rudy soundtrack. She described the excitement of running through the tunnel and onto the field.

“It was really cool to run through the tunnel because so few students get to experience that. I felt relieved the race was over but honored to be finishing inside the stadium,” Sutton said.

Freshman Kelly Nolan also ran the race, with her sister, Erin, a former Saint Mary’s cross-country runner.

“It was an invigorating race on a beautiful day,” Nolan said. “My sister, a graduate, who was in from out of town, and I, were glad to participate in support of such a great cause.”

The race was a combined effort of many contributors to Weis’ cause, such as Alumni Hall, which co-sponsored the event, RecSports, Notre Dame Food Services and the class of 2012. Alumni Hall residents handed out water halfway through the race and many volunteers were placed along the path to guide participants.

Hannah & Friends was founded by Weis and his wife, Maura. It is a non-profit organization that recognizes their daughter, Hannah, who has been affected by developmental disorders, and helps benefit children and adults like Hannah. The organization is dedicated to “awareness and compassion” for individuals with special needs.

“It was impressive that Charlie took time out of a big day in his spring football schedule for such a charitable event. My mom and I really enjoyed witnessing his dedication to his daughter on such a family-oriented occasion,” Sutton said.