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Finish on the 50 to benefit Hannah and Friends

Katie Peralta | Friday, April 18, 2008

This Saturday will be a bustling day on the Notre Dame campus, from the annual Blue-Gold game to the first ever Finish on the 50, a 5K race that will finish on the 50-yard line of the Notre Dame stadium.

Sponsored by Alumni Hall, the event will benefit Hannah and Friends, the charity founded by Charlie and Maura Weis to help special needs children.

The 3.1 mile race will take participants around the Stadium, through the Notre Dame campus around South Quad, around the Stepan Center and back to the Stadium to finish on the 50- yard line after running through the tunnel.

The event also features a one-mile walk for those not wishing to run.

Race coordinator senior Clint Bergstrom said the idea for the event arose last spring.

“We seriously started taking a look [at planning the event] at the beginning of this semester once we got the approval of SAO [Student Activities Office],” Bergstrom said.

Six Alumni race committees were responsible for various planning aspects of the race. Bergstrom’s fellow Alumni residents chose him to head the effort once it was underway.

“I used to do a lot of running [in high school]. I thought this would be a cool opportunity for a good cause,” Bergstrom said.

Although race coordinators initially entertained the idea of inviting the entire South Bend community, they eventually decided to keep it open to only Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross College students.

Bergstrom said the event, although only in its first year, has seen an impressive number of registrants so far.

“As of Wednesday night, we had 300 signed up already,” Bergstrom said.

The event, Bergstrom said, has received a great deal of support throughout its planning stages.

Adidas donated T-shirts, which each participant will receive with his or her registration fee, while collegiate service organization Circle K provided volunteers for the event, Bergstrom said.

“The women’s running club has also been involved with the race,” Bergstrom said.

Because of the annual Blue-Gold game later in the afternoon, Bergstrom said race organizers must be out of the Stadium by 10 a.m.

“It was a small block of time we had to work with. It is special, though. The only other race to finish in the Notre Dame stadium is the Sunburst race [in June],” Bergstrom said.

The race will take place Saturday morning at 8 a.m., and race registration is $15.