Grace Barattini, Assistant Features Editor
Between 5,000 to 6,000 people will be on campus this Saturday, March 7 for the 23rd annual Heart Run and Walk in support of the American Heart Association. Participants of the have been preparing weeks in advance for one of the biggest events on campus.
The goal of the event is to raise awareness of heart disease and raise more than $1 million toward fighting the number-one killer in America.
Team UC has been hosting events all week long leading up to the run and walk. The team has been hosting Penny Wars in effort to raise funds just from loose coins. Additionally, the team has been doing t-shirt sales and bake sales.
Team UC also hosted the Heart Run and Walk Wrap Up Party on Thursday, March 5 where there were raffles, t-shirt sales and pie-an-athletic-coach.
Throughout Friday and Saturday there will be thousands of guests on campus attending the expo, registering, walking or running.
The expo takes place on Friday and will offer various vendors in the health-related field. Debra McQueary, senior coordinator from the Events and Conference Programs Office, said first-time walkers and runners can expect all things health and heart related.
“At the expo, participants will be able to receive a health assessment right then and there,” she said.
Participants will also be able to register and pick up whatever information they need the whole day Friday from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
On Saturday, participants will be walking or running in numerous races. The running races include an 18-mile run, a 10-mile run, a five-mile run and a 3-mile run. For the walkers, there is a five-mile walk and a 3-mile walk.
“A lot of people are walking for their family members that have been affected by heart disease and are raising money for them and for others,” McQueary said.
Jenny Robinson, junior occupational therapy major, will be participating for the third time this year in the Heart Run and Walk, and is very excited to meet new people and have friendly conversation.
“My favorite thing about the walk is seeing everyone in the community come together,” Robinson said. “I love walking by the people in their yard playing music, waving and smiling and just seeing everyone in the community having a great time.”
In addition to the runs and walks, this event also has a variety of awards that are given out.
The UC team is very active in this event, resulting in them taking first place in the college category for many years in a row.
“Utica College has been the recipient of the college/university award every year since I have been a team captain, which is five years,” said Marissa Finch, assistant director for student living.
The award that the UC team has received in years past and hopes to win again this year, is for raising the most money within the college/university category for the Heart Run and Walk.
“Every year the event gets bigger and better,” Finch said. “It is truly amazing to see how everyone comes together to fight for the cause.”