by Sienna Strickland ’22
This past Homecoming weekend, on Saturday, October 5, hundreds of faculty, students, family, and alumni were gathered around Harkins Hall to participate in the Friar 5K—an annual 3.1 mile run.
Participants were not the only ones in attendance, as residents around the area lined the streets to watch the runners.
Student volunteers handed out apples, oranges, water bottles, and Gatorade after the race on the track. Tents were set up on Slavin Lawn featuring pizza, calzones, apple cider donuts, and more from local establishments.
Students from all running backgrounds participated in the race. These included anybody from former track stars, to people merely looking for a challenging bout of exercise. Alex Chapparo ’22, who ran on Saturday, falls somewhere between the two.
Chapparo has been running for a good part of her life. “Growing up my dad did triathlons, marathons, and 5Ks at least monthly, so I’ve always grown up running. It’s been my steady stress relief no matter what stage of life I’m in.”
A long-time lover of running, Chapparo jumped at the chance to participate in the 5K. Only one small problem: her decision to participate was made a mere two weeks before the race. So, how does one prepare themselves for a 5K, especially in such a short period of time?
She admits that her past, as well as current, running experience was helpful in her preparation, but admitted she still had a lot of work to do in order to get into proper shape. She describes her workout routine leading up to the race.
“I try to run two to three miles at least twice a week no matter what, but in the days leading up to the race I slowly increased my distance daily until I was comfortable running five or six miles. That’s when I started lowering the distance a bit more and focusing some on my split times.”
Other than upping the distance of her weekly runs and increasingly working on her speed, Chapparo also talks about her specific gym routine. “I always start every workout with some type of cardio and then rotate different areas to focus on. Leading up to the race I made sure to increase reps and lower the amount of weight I was lifting to try and gain more lean muscle.“
In addition to the physical aspect of preparation, being mindful of her diet was another integral part to the process—emphasizing “protein, protein, and more protein!” She describes her typical meal. “Protein was super important! My go-to food was chicken, some type of bean, and lots of hummus and veggies for dinner!”
Despite careful preparation for the race, facing difficulties during the actual run is inevitable. Chapparo cites her biggest challenge on race day—which ironically, had nothing to do with her physical condition. “My biggest mental challenge was making it past the first mile,” she says, adding that “Once I settled into my pace however, it was smooth sailing from there!”
Smooth sailing it was. The day turned out great—with all types of members in or associated with the PC community coming together. With the help of her preparation routine, and encouragement from PC student volunteers cheering on the sidelines, Chapparo successfully completed the race.
She had a great time doing it, stating: “The race went amazing, the day was beautiful, and I was so blessed to be running alongside so many fellow dedicated running Friars!”