ETSU to host 3K run to support Physical Therapy group

Halloween is about a week away, but students at East Tennessee State University plan to kick things off early, and raise money for a non-profit at the same time.

Sam Arnold, a grad student studying physical therapy at ETSU, is one of two head organizers of the event.

“This is about our fourth or fifth time hosting the run,” Arnold said.

Arnold said he and his fellow students host the run as part of the Marquette Challenge, a fundraising campaign led by the Foundation for Physical Therapy, in which different groups across the country host fund-raisers for research.

“We are the future PT workers,” Arnold said. “We are going to be figuring out the best way to help these people, and we need research in order to do that.”

Originally, the event ran under the name Zombie Run, but this year, Arnold said they wanted to change the theme in order to be more kid-friendly.

“It was an executive decision,” he said. “Originally, you ran through a trail in the dark, and it was pretty scary. We wanted to change things up a little, make it more fun.”

He said attendance in previous years was small, but they have seen a rise in registrations this year.

“It looks we will have at least 50 people this time, maybe even more,” Arnold said. “This will be the largest run we have ever had.”

The 3K will take place at the ETSU campus at 9 a.m. Saturday, October 27, starting at the Tri-Hall Field. Arnold said children under 10 are free, and all participants will receive a T-shirt to designate their involvement in the run.

Arnold said the run is meant for participants to complete at their own pace, and they encourage them to bring pets or anyone else willing to participate.

Arnold said he joined the PT program after originally studying pre-med.

“I wanted to be more hands-on,” he said. “I have had injuries in sports over the years, and I knew how important it was. I knew I wanted to do this.”

Arnold said one of the benefits of planning this event is learning about the various hiking trails in the area, and he hopes others can appreciate them as well.

“I barely even knew of the trails before I started planning this race, but the area is beautiful,” Arnold said. “I was glad to have a reason that got me to walk the trails and explore another part of ETSU’s campus.”

Arnold and his fellow students said they hope to encourage participants to kick off Halloween festivities early.

“This race is a chance for everyone to get a jump start on Halloween in a fun way,” Arnold said.

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