The Heroes Run was hosted by SVSU and consisted of both a 5K and a 400-meter “fun run” for children.
By the end of the night, about $3,000 was raised. Half will go to the Travis Manion Foundation and the other half to the Bay Veterans Foundation.
“Eye of the Tiger” poured from the speakers and pumped up 225 runners, walkers and
“ruckers” as they began their loop around the campus trail routes. The “ruckers” wore weighted backpacks during the races.
Forty-six participants across seven age groups received medals for their efforts, with the two ruck winners receiving plaques adorned with a piece of retired re hose from the Midland Fire Department.
The event began with the kids’ run. Several dozen youngsters took to the course, some accompanied by older family members.
After speeches by Jenna Briggs, the director of International and Graduate Admissions, and Bethany Alford, the director of Military Student Affairs, the crowd stood at attention for the SVSU Marching Band’s rendition of the national anthem. The opening concluded with a few words from Keith Marks, the president of Bay Veterans Foundation, and SVSU President Don Bachand.
Participants had numerous reasons for attending the event.
“We like to run, so it was nice to have a goal and to commemorate 9/11,” said Jennifer Majorana, a Saginaw resident attending with her husband. “It was nice to honor our veterans.”
Runners appreciated the camaraderie of the event.
“I love the music and running as a group,” said runner Zack Alex. “Everyone bonded, connected.”
Event organizers were pleased with the turnout but acknowledged that these types of memorial events can be bittersweet despite the fun event and funds raised.
“I hope they took a moment to react,” said Associate Director of Admissions Ted Lind.
Briggs and Alford agreed with Lind’s sentiments, saying they hoped attendees felt united and took time to react.
“It’s more important to remember how we came together after 9/11,” Briggs said.
After the ceremony, memories of September 11th, 2001 did not leave attendees’ minds. “It is far more than a 5K race,” Alford said. “We gather for the opportunity to honor the legacy of those who’ve gone before us and paved the way for those who will come after.”