Students lined up in front of Gregory Gym to register for the Longhorn Run on Wednesday morning, the first day of registration for the 2017 run.
An annual tradition since 2010, the race is an initiative to raise funds for Student Government and Recreational Sports. Since its inception, the Longhorn Run has benefited student organizations such as Texas THON, Orange Jackets and the Asian Business Students Association.
“The very original mission of the event stays true today — proceeds from the race benefit student excellence funds on campus and support the UT experience,” RecSports assistant director Cecilia Lopez Cardenas said.
Chemical engineering senior Kevin He, Longhorn Run campus outreach coordinator, said the event is a bonding experience.
“Whenever (you’re) running you’ll see so many people you know, so many people that you’ve seen in past years, and you get to catch up with them,” he said.
The race will be held April 8 this year and will start and finish at the junction of 21st Street and Speedway. The race offers both a 5K and 10K course that will wind through campus and downtown Austin.
“It’s becoming a spring campus tradition. Our goal is to make the Longhorn Run the largest display of UT tradition in the springtime,” Cardenas said. “Last year we had around 4,700 people participate, and this year we are trying to reach a goal of 5,500 individuals.”
Registration will continue until April 7, and the event is open to all members of the public.
Mechanical engineering junior Adolfo Castro said the race unites runners of all skill levels.
“I don’t see it as a competition,” Castro said. “(It’s) just about coming together and having a good time.”
As the participation and the revenue generated increases, the original purpose of the Longhorn Run remains central: to represent the student body, both in allocation of proceeds and in developing rapport with the community.
Pre-race Logistics Coordinator Phillip Yoon, supply chain management senior, said the Longhorn Run is a collection of stories.
“Everybody runs for a different reason,” Yoon said. “For some people this might be their first race, for others it might be their 100th race. For me, it’s helping people take the first step in their running journey and being a better version of themselves.”