Annual Rivier 5k

Runners come from near and far to race

Adam Urquhart Runners charged around the corner, turning right onto So. Main St., after starting off the 5k race behind Rivier University’s Memorial Hall.

NASHUA – Rivier University’s Biology Club held its 14 annual Earth Day Charitable Road Race/Walk Sunday morning. This 5k was primarily organized and put on by students, and was open to anyone looking to participate and beat down the winter blues.

More than 20 runners navigated a course through the neighborhood around Rivier University, raising funds for the Beaver Brook Association in Hollis and the enhancement of wildlife habitats on the Rivier University campus.

“We almost had to cancel, but the club advisors were talking last night and at 5 a.m. and decided it was best not to cancel, because there’s a lot of people interested in running,” Biology Club President Megan Munroe said.

Some of those runners turned out for the first time, while others, like Laurie Brown, returned for yet another year.

Brown said, “It’s a nice race, and the course is flattish.”

She said this year’s turnout was “tinier” than years prior.

“Last year had around 55 people, and the year before, there were maybe 70 people,” Brown said.

However, she said she came out to run on Sunday because, “I like to support Beaver Brook.”

While most of those running were local, there were some who came out all the way from Southern California. Mable Lai and Mindy Ruotolo traveled to New Hampshire, because Lai qualified for the Boston Marathon.

This is their first time in New Hampshire, and in regard to participating in Rivier’s 5k, Ruotolo said, “This was my crazy idea. I want to run a race in every state, so obviously New Hampshire is on that list.”

Lai said Ruotolo looked up the 5k and, over the course of three days, including the Boston Marathon, she’ll be running more than 32 miles. She’s been running for sixs years now, with two and a half of those years being designated to train for the Boston Marathon.

“Before that, I hated running,” Lai said.

Runners began behind Memorial Hall and, Munroe said, the course goes through surrounding neighborhoods, cutting through campus allowing runners to see the remodeling they had done last semester, before reaching the finish line.

“Runners get a free t-shirt, and we’re selling the extras to donate funds, as well,” Munroe said.

Aside from that, they also did a tie-dye fundraiser and raffle baskets. She said the club has been working on this since January. Prior to the start of the race, students set up the race route, welcomed and registered participants and later directed racers as they navigated the course.

“We couldn’t have done it without the help we’ve gotten,” Munroe said, adding that, “Next year, we’re hoping to raise even more.”

The day before the race was Rivier’s sixth annual First-Year Student Day of Service, where more than 250 first-year students, upperclass mentors and supporting staff members contributed hundreds of service hours to Greater Nashua nonprofit

organizations.

Students volunteered at Anne-Marie House, the Boys & Girls Club of Nashua, Girls Inc. of Greater Nashua, Harbor Homes, the Hunt Community, PLUS Company, Nashua Parks and Recreation, Nashua Police Athletics League, Salvation Army, the Nashua Senior Center and the YMCA.

Adam Urquhart can be reached at 594-1206 or aurquhart@nashuatelegraph.com.