WILMINGTON — Everyone was a winner in the Quaker Quarantine Virtual 5K sponsored by Wilmington College’s Office of Alumni Engagement June 22 through 29. The more than 500 participants enjoyed fresh air and healthful exercise as they ran or walked the 3.1 miles — and the Athletic Dept. realized the bulk of the $15,000 bounty to distribute to its various sports programs.
Indeed, the 512 runners and walkers each designated their entry fees — minus the cost of the T-shirt they will receive — in support of the sport of their choice. The Fightin’ Quakers’ softball team brought in more than $3,000 to leads the way.
Ron Combs, cross country and track & field coach, promoted the event to his teams and alumni as “something fun to do in the summer” that will help the athletic program.
“It was outstanding to have more than 500 alums and friends of our sports programs involved — it was a huge success!” he said. “It was especially fun to see so many alumni post photos on social media of themselves wearing old uniforms, WC T-shirts and other pieces of memorabilia.”
Nineteen of the top 25 finishers are current Wilmington College students, most of whom are members of the men’s and women’s cross country teams. The non-student designation includes alumni, faculty, staff, coaches and other friends of the College.
Sophomore Simon Heys’ time of 15:55 made him the top finisher among male WC students; while incoming freshman Cierra Bolender was the number one female WC student, with Brian Post as the top non-WC student and Nicole Gaskins the number one non-WC student.
Jim Cook, Class of 1970, was selected as the Best Dressed Participant. He posted a photo of himself wearing a freshman beanie from 1966 and his varsity letterman sweater from 1968, while further promoting the green and white with a WC pennant.
A group of WC alumni, Mike ‘84 and Melissa (Milburn) ‘83 Kuns and Larry ‘82 and Lori (Arthur) ‘83 Saunders, ran the 5K at the Erie County Quarry. They summed up the experience by noting: “Fun times, great stories and slow times!”
Kyle Wolf, an alumnus from 2003 and an assistant WC track and field coach, participated in the event all the way from Montana, where his family was vacationing.
1968 alumnus Jay Birmingham posted a photo wearing a WC cross country T-shirt while holding a framed photograph of himself running in 1967, when he set the College’s record in the three-mile run.
An alumna in Florida shared that she finished the Quaker Quarantine 5K on the beach. “I received a lot of strange looks from beachgoers since I was running with a heat index of 102 degrees,” she said. “Maybe not my best decision — and nowhere near my best 5K — but I managed to survive. Go Quakers!”