Community members joined with students, faculty and alumni from Purdue University Northwest (PNW) to show their true colors as they participated in the third annual Pride Stride 5K Fun Run and Walk on Sept. 12. Hosted on the scenic Purdue Northwest Westville campus, participants were doused with color at this outdoor event as part of the university’s welcome weeks activities.
"Participants of all ages go around the cross country track in this 5K and they are blasted with color at three different stations," said organizer Magdalena Madrigal, student life coordinator.
Students, faculty and staff were shuttled from the PNW Hammond campus to the Westville campus, allowing people who typically attend classes or work at both PNW campuses the opportunity to participate. Time was not the focus of the race; the priority was uniting all skill levels of runners and walkers for a fun evening of celebration.
Upon arrival at the James B. Dworkin Student Services and Activities Complex, participants checked in, picked up their t-shirts and headed to the starting line. Pepsi, a major sponsor of the campuses, handed out Bolt 24 drinks and sunglasses.
"I participated last year and it was so much fun," said this year's volunteer Chris Rhodes. "You know they are going to get you with color, but you never know exactly when it is going to happen."
Prior to the start, a rainbow shown over the course, a site not lost on participants as they lined up. After one big blast of color powders, runners and walkers of all ages were off. Laughter and cheers rang out as no one was spared.
Rain began to fall when participants were part way through the race, but no spirits were dampened as most opted to continue the course and be doused with every color they could.
Following the race participants were treated to food, refreshments, music and raffled prizes. The eventful night ended with a colorful sunset.