Cookie Dash continues despite cold weather, low attendance

Samuel Sutton

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Keith Ngondo, nursing freshman, crosses the finish line first with his fist up at the one mile Cookie Dash set by the University Programming Board at Sikes Lake, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo by Francisco Martinez

Keith Ngondo, nursing freshman, crosses the finish line first with his fist up at the one mile Cookie Dash set by the University Programming Board at Sikes Lake, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo by Francisco Martinez

It was a freezing, windy, 20˚ day for the Cookie Dash, held Jan. 23 at 10 a.m. The white breath from the runners made them look like dragons breathing fire, and the fatigue from the run was apparent on their sweat-drenched faces.

The Hunger Run hosted by the Century City Fitness Center at Vernon College was going on at the same time and that scheduling conflict paired with cold temperatures lead to a low attendance rate for the Cookie Dash. The event endured another hiccup when Chartwells, a catering company and MSU’s food service provider, sent the food for the event to the wrong location that morning.

Mario Ramirez, adviser of the University Programming Board, said, “They sent it to Sikes Senter instead of Sikes Lake, which caused us to change up the event a bit. We’re just going to do a full mile with cookies, hot cocoa, and shirts at the end.”

The event was scheduled to be a mile long run with challenges at every quarter mile, but had to be changed to just a full mile with hot cocoa at the end.

The original plan included cookies, cocoa and more.

Ramirez said, “We want to have a chocolate chip cookie eating at the first, a marshmallow and hot cocoa drinking at the second, and an Oreo dunk at the third.”

Ramirez initially said he expected a higher attendance rate because of successful turnouts at previous runs.

“At our last 5k, we had about 60 people show up so it should be good,” Ramirez said.

D’Aaron Clayton, pre-dental and junior member of the University Programming Board, thought otherwise.

Mario Ramirez, activities coordinator student development and orientation, sets up the t-shirt table during the 1 mile Cookie Dash put on by the University Programming Board at Sikes Lake, Jan, 23. Photo by Francisco Martinez

Mario Ramirez, activities coordinator student development and orientation, sets up the t-shirt table during the 1 mile Cookie Dash put on by the University Programming Board at Sikes Lake, Jan, 23. Photo by Francisco Martinez

“Because of the cold temperatures and people going home for the weekend, I expect around 20 people,” Clayton said.

However, they both overestimated the attendance, as ten people participated.

Ramirez said, “I didn’t think it would be this low. I wish we would’ve known about that event or else we would’ve rescheduled so we didn’t waste so much money.”

Ramirez said the event costed $150 largely due to 30 shirts they bought. He said they were also waiting for a bill from Chartwells.

Even through these struggles, the participants said they still had a good time.

Preston Bubsy, criminal justice freshman, said, “I thought changing the event was fine. I still had a good time either way.”

He wasn’t the only one who didn’t mind the changes. A couple of other participants said they enjoyed the event as well.

Keith Ngondo, a nursing freshman, said, “I originally came for extra credit, but I also enjoyed the run.”

Nick Hamilton, a business freshman, also said he enjoyed the run.

“It was a good way to get my heart rate going, and get some exercise in,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton didn’t mind the event changing either. He said it was fair due to the weather and complications.

Encouraging messages were written around Sikes Lake to motivate participants of the one mile Cookie Dash set up by the University Programming Board, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo by Francisco Martinez.

Encouraging messages were written around Sikes Lake to motivate participants of the one mile Cookie Dash set up by the University Programming Board, Jan. 23, 2016. Photo by Francisco Martinez.

A highlight of the event was the quotes written with chalk by University Programming Board members along the way.

Ngondo said, “The quotes were very helpful because it was hard to keep going with the weather sometimes. Some of them made me laugh too.”

Some of the quotes said to “Run like Forrest Gump,” and “Run like there are zombies chasing you.”

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