- Campus Life
When someone who is familiar with Springfield thinks of State Street, they will probably think of the Federal Courthouse, the PVTA bus stops, Antonio's Pizza, and Mass Mutual. They may not think of taking a gulp of water while running in the left hand "fast lane" of State Street. Yes, you read that right: I said running. And I didnít mean it in the figurative sense. I meant it quite literally: short-wearing, t-shirt donning, sneaker-to-pavement running.
Maybe I should back up.
My name is Danielle Wisniowski, and I work for American International College's Office of Admissions. This summer, for the first time ever, AIC hosted a 5k Run for Education. Top prizes included, not only money for the winners, but match prizes that would go to the school of the winner's choice. My office, being a competitive bunch, decided that we wanted to sign up and see what we were made of. We had two teams, with a total of nine runners from the office. For some, this was an item to check off of their bucket list. For others, this was another cool t-shirt to add to their collection of race memorabilia. And for still others, the race was a fun non-work event with coworkers.
We had wish lists for what we would do if we won the top prize. A new refrigerator for the office? A "bee mobile" to travel in? (We are, after all, the AIC Yellow Jackets). An office puppy? The sky was the limit! And while it was fun to toss out the ideas, we weren't doing it for the prizes. We were doing it to show support for AIC, Springfield, and education in general. (And - okay, okay - we really wanted to compete against the Office of Student Affairs. After all, Yellow Jackets are competitive by nature.)
As race day approached, some of us trained, and others (no names mentionedÖ) did not. We lined up near the courthouse, and the spirited nerves started to settle in.
Thankfully, what nerves we did have disappeared as soon as we saw the guy in the rainbow wig who claimed he could juggle for the entire 3.1 miles. (Really, I can't make this stuff up! And yes, to answer your next question, he did.)
Speeches were made, and before we had time to think - HONK! - the car horn blared and off we went! Up State Street's steep incline (which I have dubbed the "Huff-and-Puff-and-Hope-You-Make-It-Hill") we went, all the way past AIC's beautiful campus, and around the AIC Track.
Along the way, families, friends, and perplexed passengers driving by on the opposite side of the street cheered us along. Crossing the finish line was a great feeling, and having such a fun party to join made the entire experience that much better. Mix 93.1 had fun tunes playing, bananas and Power Bars were offered, and ProEx Physical Therapy offered post-race stretching.
All in all, it was a beautiful day, an awesome race, and a wonderful opportunity to support something we are all passionate about: education.
We came. We ran. We conquered. (And by conquered, I mean "finished"...)
PS: In case you were wondering, our shirts said: [Front] Team Admissions. We arenít the fastest... [Back] But you can't DENY that we are ACCEPTional!