Recapping the Friar 5K
by The Cowl Editor on October 7, 2021
Fr. Humbert Triumphs Over Dean Sears
Liam Tormey ’22
As the annual Providence College Homecoming was just getting underway, so too was the Friar 5K, a tradition continuing to be a massive hit.
The race has become a staple of Homecoming, a weekend which is already filled with so many great events for students, families, and faculty to be a part of the community.
Students, alumni, parents, family members, faculty, staff, and even the public were all invited to run or walk the 3.1 mile race. Racers were allowed to sign up individually or as a team to get in on the action.
Before the event, whoever pre-registered was given a free cotton race t-shirt. The event directors were also looking for female graduates or those running in honor of one to support the school with a donation towards the National Alumni Association Scholarship Fund. Each runner who made an additional gift received an upgraded t-shirt to celebrate 50 years of women at PC.
Every runner of the 5K received a ticket for a complimentary beverage at the Homecoming Friar Fest, an outdoor party held on campus which offered food, drinks, and a place to catch up and meet fellow Friars.
At Friar Fest, awards were handed out to the overall male and female winners along with the top three male and female finishers in each age category.
A wide range of ages spanned the runners of this year’s event. The first group was 18-years-old and under. The second was 19-29, the third was 30-39, the fourth was 40-49, the fifth 50-59, all the way to group eight: those 80 years old and above.
The Friar 5K, which occurred on Oct. 2, courses around the PC community. The race begins right in front of Harkins Hall, travels through Eaton Street, up Enfield Avenue, down Naples Avenue, then turns down Sharon Street, goes back through Eaton Street, turns back onto the campus, and finally finishes at the Ray Treacy Track at Hendricken Field.
To amp up the runners, the organizers of the event in recent years have set up a Friar 5K Spotify playlist, giving everyone who is running a chance to listen to past artists who have performed at PC and other popular hits to help motivate runners while they up their heart rates. .
Starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning, every racer was blessed with perfect weather for the event: sunny and neither too hot nor too cold.
This great event allows friends and family to connect over fitness and an enjoyable time. It is not often that all members of the Friar family are able to get together at once, but this race offers the perfect opportunity, and the chance to settle long rivalries.
Back in Nov. 2020, Dr. Steven A. Sears was named Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students. Dean Sears wanted to take on an “unwavering commitment to [PC] students and their well-being” when he accepted the role. He has shown nothing but love and support to the PC community since he took over.
Sears, a U.S. Air Force veteran, isn’t shy of competition, and neither is Father Humbert Kilanowski, O.P., an Assistant Professor of mathematics at PC. Since the moment the two met and disovered each other’s running ability, they have fostered a runner’s feud.
This year’s 5K was no different, but there was a clear winner. Fr. Humbert came out victorious and said Dean Sears was not even close to him: “I never even saw him. He was behind me the whole time.” Fighting words to say the least.
Fr. Humbert credits much of his success to Ray Tracey, Providence College’s distinguished Cross Country and Track and Field coach. Coach Tracey inspired Fr. Humbert to pick up running and gave the Friar his personal training regimen. “I couldn’t have done it without him.”
The rivalry between Fr. Humber and Dean Sears has been gaining traction within Friartown. Commenting on the race, Fr. Cuddy stated, “Dean Sears has consistently beaten really fast runners half his age. But sadly it seems that the one foe he can’t outrun is Father Time.”
Fr. Humbert decided to continue the running feud by sending an email to his good friend Dean Sears, congratulating him on “winning his age group.” So, as all can tell, this rivalry runs deep.
Dean Sears responded that Fr. Humbert has been “aiming for me since the day he arrived at PC.”
He also says there might be an obsession on Fr. Humbert’s part in wanting to beat him so badly. “Fr. Humbert has been training so hard for the past year to beat me, asking regularly ‘how fast are you running?’ ‘What is your 10K and 5K time?’ It seemed to be an obsession.” Dean Sears seemed shocked at how much Fr. Humbert really wanted to beat him.
The Friar community knows how much Dean Sears loves everything that has to do with PC, and he wanted nothing more than to make Fr. Humbert happy. “I felt kind of bad so I decided to hang back this year so he could win,” Dean Sears added.
“Watching him ahead of me was the greatest gift in this year’s Friar 5K. I really enjoy seeing others happy. This was his one Friar 5K that I will allow this to happen.”
In short, this victory may just be the start of an even deeper friendly competition between the two. Fellow Friars may see Dean Sears in the Concannon Fitness Center, or Fr. Humbert running along campus or in the streets, and no one should be surprised by Friars putting the work in.
Dean Sears also has a comment to make about future events: “I will have his name on the back of my shirt next year so he can see it while he is behind me. It may help him finish at a faster pace. It’s on!”
Word is spreading throughout the PC community that next year’s race should bring even more drama and that Dean Sears is determined to prove the 2021 race was only a fluke. Nick Braz ’23, who was in attendance that Saturday morning and knows the Dean well, declared, “insider sources tell us Dean Sears is training harder than ever for next year’s race. If you ever see him on campus, give him a thumbs up or a wave! Next year is your year!”
Either way, this year, Fr. Humbert got the better of Dean Sears. For the student body and everyone associated with PC, the Dean Sears and Fr. Humbert Rivalry may be going on for years to come and may be a part of many Friar sports rivalries.
The Friar 5K is an opportunity for everyone to come together and show their love for PC. For some, it is the sparking of a rivalry that may only just be getting underway. Whether you are a new runner or a seasoned competitor with a longstanding rival, the Friar 5K is a fun and relaxed way for the Providence College community to come together as one. Go Friars!
PC Dads in Politics Speak on Upcoming Election: College Hosts Chris Christie ’23P and Michael Dukakis ’23GP
by The Cowl Editor on October 15, 2020
by Eileen Cooney ’23
On Thursday, Oct. 1, Providence College hosted a Friar Forum with two former governors and presidential candidates, Chris Christie ’23P and Michael Dukakis ’23GP. Christie and Dukakis answered questions about the upcoming election and shared stories about their careers in public service.
The event, moderated by political science department chair Dr. Joseph Cammarano and senior political science major Julia Murphy ’21, was extremely popular with over 700 students, parents, faculty, and alumni in attendance.
Murphy opened the forum by asking the two former governors, “What drew you to public service, and what made you stay so long?” Both Christie and Dukakis answered with detailed, personal anecdotes about their early childhood and adolescence.
Dukakis, growing up in Brookline, MA at a time when people of color were barred from living in his neighborhood, listened to the CBS World News Roundup every night on the radio, and grew interested in solving the injustices he observed in his immediate surroundings. He says that he never regretted his decision to serve in the public sector, and he emphatically claimed, “to be able to make a difference in the lives of your fellow citizens, there is nothing like it.”
Similar to Dukakis, Christie said his interest in public service came at a young age. He told stories of being six years old and watching the Democratic National Convention with his grandmother and of being a teenager volunteering on Tom Kean’s 1977 campaign for the Republican nomination for the governor of New Jersey.
Dukakis and Christie, who both have extensive experience in bridging partisan division, were asked how current political leaders can work effectively with opposing ideas or individuals.
Christie stressed the importance of generating strong personal relationships with others above all else. He feels that the largest problem in Washington, D.C. today is the lack of interaction between politicians; they do not engage with one another long enough to foster personal trust. “It’s much harder to hate up close,” he says. That is why personal relationships make all the difference. Similarly, Dukakis emphasized the importance of inviting leaders on both sides to work together to solve problems and develop policy.
While bipartisanship is surely a big issue, so is the lack of democratic participation among young people. Thus, Murphy asked Christie and Dukakis what passionate young people should do to get involved.
Both responded by emphasizing that we have a political system that allows for people of all backgrounds to come forward and speak their minds. They highlighted the importance of young millennials and Generation Z kids just showing up, displaying their talent, and working hard to make their voices heard.
In addition to questions asked by the moderators, Dukakis and Christie also answered questions from the audience about the current executive administration’s COVID-19 response, the recent nomination of a Supreme Court Justice, and how one can ensure that our democratic institutions are not weakened.
Murphy says that “co-moderating the Friar Forum was a great experience, as it was really remarkable to see Governor Dukakis and Governor Christie, who fall on opposite sides of the political aisle, come together to share stories and insight about the importance of public service.” Coming away from the event, Murphy says that she hopes “people watching saw this as an example of how we can work together despite our differences and to take the time to get to know people we do not always agree with.”
PC Holds 10th Annual Friar 5K
by The Cowl Editor on October 10, 2019
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!”