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By Josh Paulsen

The 5k circumscribes campus, meanders downtown, and ends on main street just in time to catch the parade. Shuttles are provided that morning to get to the starting line and make picking up your car easy. Dogs on leashes are always welcome.

The Running of the Bulls 5k will once again start at the USU Welcome Center. The course still runs downtown but has been improved by eliminating some turns.

I was asked to be the race director for the homecoming 5k two years ago. I had no aspirations for the title, I suspect everyone in the office just assumed I would love the assignment because I run almost every day at lunch. They were right, I do love it. And I’m happy to say that this year’s Running of the Bulls 5k is going to be a new personal best, for us as an Alumni Association, and hopefully your race time too.

Two years ago the 5k consisted of the usual course and a Friday evening race time; it was a mundane two loop course around campus. The two things it had going for it were great views of campus and excellent company. I was a little late getting the assignment to organize the race, so we weren’t able to make major improvements. We decided to upgrade the race shirts and, being a dog lover myself, invited people to bring their pooch along (leashed, of course). The shirts were a hit, the dog turnout was disappointing.

Last year we made major changes to all facets of the race. We moved the date to Saturday morning so that participants didn’t need to stay in Logan to participate in the parade and football game. We changed the course to a campus start that meandered Logan’s urban trails and ended on the parade route downtown to the cheers of Aggie spectators. It was fast and all downhill. We offered free VIP seating for the parade, gloves to keep fingers warm, and fancy headwear courtesy of the USU Credit Union. And for whatever reason, we had more people bring their dogs this year, even though we didn’t explicitly invite them. Despite the rainy weather, we had a great turnout. The only shortcoming was that the course was well shy of 3.1 miles, due to some unforeseen campus construction that morning.

I’m really excited that this year builds on all prior improvements. With the help of my co-director Sian Smith, we think you’ll love this race even more than the past two. Here are a few new things to expect:

  1. Outstanding and valuable prizes—thanks to S.E. Needham Jewelers for recognizing the winners.
  2. An even better course—we’ve removed unnecessary turns and rerouted the campus portion so the distance is spot on.
  3. Technical wear shirts—since it’s likely to be chilly, we’re also providing everyone with running gloves.
  4. More volunteers and staff—thanks to USU Campus Recreation, you’ll be able to find your way more easily and have a smoother finish line experience. We also have CPR certified staff on course.

If you haven’t signed up for the Homecoming 5k, it’s not too late! Take advantage of our family pack and student pricing. Sign up now and make this healthy, family-friendly run part of your Homecoming Tradition.