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Keough Hall Chariot Race to benefit Tanzanian Holy Cross missions

| Friday, October 5, 2018

The unlikely duo of chariot racing and petting zoos will unite again this Saturday for Keough Hall’s signature event. The chariot race starts at 12:30 p.m. and will feature homemade chariots from each of Keough’s sections and several men’s and women’s dorms, along with a petting zoo, pizza and sno cones.

The annual chariot race has been Keough’s signature event since the dorm was established in the late 1990s. All of Keough’s seven sections will be represented in the race. The dorm is expecting one to three other men’s dorms to compete and three to five women’s dorms to compete. The races will be single elimination and each member of the winning team will receive a chariot race t-shirt.

“It’s a good way to come together on South Quad and have some fun,” event organizer and junior Chandler Crane said. “Things made by hand is not something you see a lot in signature events and it’s not often you see kangaroos or other animals here too.”

Photo courtesy of Chandler Crane
Keough Hall’s annual chariot race, which will take place Saturday, has been the dorm’s signature event since the late 1990’s. The event raises money for the Holy Cross Missions in Kitete, Tanzania.

Keough provided all the materials for its sections and other dorms to build their chariots and had building days Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. One of the goals for this year’s race was to push building earlier in the week so the builders had time to plan ahead and create the most efficient vehicle possible.

“It has a really rich, fun history,” event organizer and junior Conor Fitzpatrick said. “We’ve built the chariots over the course of this week. They’re these funny looking things. Really simplified, bare bones structures. It’s a short, high-intensity sprint with four people pushing and one person stands on top as the champion of the chariot.”

The petting zoo has also become an integral part of the chariot race.

“It will definitely have kangaroos,” Crane said. “This year we’ll also have a goat and an ox. Last year, we had a turtle. It can be all different things, but for sure kangaroos.”

In anticipation of tomorrow’s race, Keough has had events within the hall each day this week such as the toga dinner at South Dining Hall, toga dodgeball, an eating contest and a Mario Kart tournament. The week will culminate in Keough’s SYR the night of the race.

“Most of Keough goes out to South and we don our bedsheets and go and feast together,” Fitzpatrick said.

All proceeds from the race will go to Holy Cross Missions in Kitete, Tanzania. Each summer, a Keough resident will engage in an ISSLP in Kitete to further strengthen the relationship between the town and the University.

“The education being administered there is powerful and is impacting lives in Kitete,” Fitzpatrick said. “Supporting Holy Cross Missions across the globe is wonderful, especially as a University.”

The race’s organizers also hope that the scope of the event will continue to increase each year as more dorms begin to participate.

“We’re always trying to reach out and get to the size of the Fisher Regatta where we can get a mass-scale of dorms to participate,” Crane said. “We’ve been thinking of different ways we can advertise and lower the barrier to entry because it’s pretty time consuming.”

Keough has advertised the race at dorm hall council meetings and outside the dining halls and by hanging up posters around campus.

This is the first year the chariot race is taking place on South Quad. Fitzpatrick hopes this location can increase attendance and enhance the race’s publicity.

“A big focus is to try to get more exposure,” Fitzpatrick said. “It will be more visible as we’re actually racing this year. What we have is a really cool event that not necessarily a lot of people know about. This year we’re really trying to get the word out so people can see all the cool stuff we have going on. From that, hopefully we can get more involvement in the future which can turn into additional funds being raised for Holy Cross Missions.”

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