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Run commemorates, raises funds

Lisa Schultz | Monday, October 31, 2005

T-shirts for Lyons Hall’s signature event proclaimed the message simply: “We Run For Mara.”

On Saturday, about 300 participants toed the starting line at Saint Mary’s Lake for the 13th Mara Fox Fun Run. The Mara Fox Fun Run honors the life of Mara Fox, a Lyons Hall freshman who was killed on Douglas Road by a drunk driver on Nov. 13, 1993.

“It always amazes us that so many people support the event [who] didn’t know Mara,” Fox’s mother, Teresa McCarthy, said.

This year’s race was the 13th in 12 years. Two races were held during the 1993-94 school year.

On Saturday, the 5-kilometer route began at St. Mary’s Lake, cut through campus between South Quad and Mod Quad and followed Holy Cross Drive back to Lyons Hall. The walking route did not include the lake segment.

A $15 participation fee paid for T-shirts, Studebagels bagels and beverages, but profits also supplement a scholarship fund in Fox’s name.

Junior Lauren Plenn became the first Lyons resident to receive the award on Saturday. Plenn was a co-coordinator of this year’s Fun Run.

The scholarship is awarded to a student who will study abroad in a Spanish-speaking country. Fox’s dream had been to study in Toledo, Spain, and become a child psychologist in a Hispanic community.

The event’s co-commissioner, junior Maya Chan, addressed the reality of Fox’s tragedy at a post-race lunch with Fox’s family members, who were on campus Saturday.

“I hadn’t really gotten to talk to Mara’s family, and to be able to talk with Mara’s mother really hit home with me,” Chan said. “She said every year it’s like a healing process for her.”

Just fewer than half of the Fun Run participants were Lyons residents, Chan said. Sorin Hall sophomore Manny Nuno was the male winner, coming in under 16 minutes. McGlinn Hall junior Catherine Huml finished first of the women, completing the run in 18:49. Each was awarded a sweatshirt from the bookstore.

Chan said Lula’s Café and the bookstore each donated prizes for the winners of the race and the raffle.

Door prizes were handed out by Fox’s nephew, 8-year-old Ian Scott. Prizes included gift certificates from Chili’s, South Bend Chocolate Company, Lula’s Café, Panera Bread Co. and Papa Vino’s.