Fundraising and UT traditions mark the 3rd Annual Longhorn Run Saturday


Members of the UT community begin the 3rd Annual Longhorn Run on campus Saturday. Photo courtesy of Mark Tway. 

With the firing of Smokey the Cannon by London Olympic silver medalist and UT alumnus Trey Hardee, members of the UT community endured a run of two miles or 10K for a campus fundraising event.

More than 2,100 people registered for the 3rd Annual Longhorn Run, with about 80 percent being UT students or alumni, according to Jennifer Speer, associate director of RecSports.

Speer said this year’s event focused on UT traditions with more student organizations becoming involved — including Texas Blazers, Orange Jackets, Texas Cowboys and Texas Soccer Club — compared to last year.

“We incorporated different spirit and tradition groups along the route,” Speer said. “Last year, we had Longhorn Band and Smokey, which was great, but we really wanted to enhance that to give a very UT event, not something you would find in the city of Austin.”

For Saturday’s event, UT spokeswoman Cynthia Posey said UTPD did not have any reports that were filed. Last year, members of the Make UT Sweatshop-Free Coalition protested for the University to agree to join the Worker’s Rights Consortium, an organization that monitors the working conditions of appeal manufactures in foreign factories. UT joined the consortium on July 18, 2012.

Student Government and RecSports co-sponsored the event, and Nike helped organize it. All proceeds of the run go to the Student Government Excellence Fund, which goes out to student organizations to put on social equality and social justice events, according to Speer. She said the amount of money raised will not be known until June because the organizers still have to pay invoices, but last year’s run brought in $30,000.

Angga Pratama, civil engineering honors senior and student chairman of Longhorn Run, said the event has multiple parts to its purpose.

“This is a run that we wanted to do both to give back to students and the University where everybody’s active,” Pratama said. “This is the case, on campus, to run around and be active.”

Accounting junior Simi Mathur said her interest in running and her professor Brent Iverson — chemistry and biochemistry department chairman — inspired her to run the race.

“I really like running and I think it is great to get everyone out and join in on this run,” Mathur said. “Even though you can make it as serious or as fun as you want, it is kind of more like uniting us together to do something that is really good for us.”

Top male runner in the 10K run was Scott Rantall of Cedar Park with a time of 32:25. Jessie-Raye Bodenhamer finished first as the top female in the 10K race at 35:27. Christopher Ramirez was the top male in the two mile run at 10:02 and Corey Timmerman of Austin completed the race as the top woman with a time of 12:04.

Some of the race prizes included custom boots, a belt buckle and Nike FuelBands. Pratama said he hopes that the Longhorn Run becomes a staple for the spring semester.

“When people look through their calendars for the spring semester,” Pratama said, “We want Longhorn Run to be something that they check and be like ‘I need to save that day for the Longhorn Run because it’s something I look forward to in the spring time.’”