Costumed runners take off from the starting line in front of Boyer Hall at the Love Run on Feb. 14.

Runners take off from the starting line in front of Boyer Hall at the Love Run on Feb. 14.

By Mason McFee
Student Writer

It was a frigid February morning, but that did not deter the crowd of runners that gathered for the 2015 Love Run. The event was hosted by Messiah’s Track and Field teams on Valentine’s Day. The 2-mile run/walk was to raise funds for the teams’ upcoming mission trip in March.

“This year was the biggest the Love Run has been since we re-started it 3 years ago,” said Tasha Becker, the race’s director. “The participants doubled in numbers from the last two races, which is awesome.”

While participants could dress in typical running gear, they were encouraged to dress in their costume of choice for a chance to win prizes. Despite freezing temperatures that were in the mid-20s for much of the morning, the runners took full advantage of the opportunity to dress a little more creatively for this particular run.

The participants came from all ages–and even decades. A group of Messiah students came in costumes representative of past decades with frilly skirts, headbands, slicked back hair, and leather jackets. Other participants wore suits and gowns, giant cut out hearts, red feather boas, and even Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch onesies. In keeping with the Valentine’s holiday, there were runners wore colorful onesies with ‘hugs’ and ‘kisses’ on the backs and there was even a king and queen of hearts present.

“It’s really great when people join in on the fun and dress up, because that’s what the run is all about: having fun and being goofy with the people you love,” Becker said.

Sent from the start line in front of Boyer Hall with cheers and encouragement from members of the men’s and women’s Track and Field teams, the run began–literally–with a bang. The participants ran against the cold around College Ave. and Creekside Drive and were greeted with cheers and high-fives along the route as they made their way to the finish line back at Boyer.

The event may have been a race, but there was still plenty of love, camaraderie, and fun among all who participated and worked at the event.

“The race could not happen without my wonderful teammates that help every year,” Becker said of the track volunteers who helped with the event. “The team is willing to help, and does whatever it takes to help pull off a successful race.”

The run was also an opportunity for the track teams to raise funds for a mission trip they will be taking to Hindman, Ky. this coming Spring Break. Both teams will be working with Sharing With Appalachian People (SWAP), a home repair ministry that serves low-income families in the Kentucky and West Virginia area.

“We will be both serving and learning from the Appalachian people whose homes we will be renovating,” said Joel Zeigler, one of the coordinators for the Love Run and co-leader of the mission trip. “We’re also in the planning stages for a track clinic to be held one of the days with students from a local elementary school.”

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