Matt’s Run, a celebratory 5K run/walk that unites hundreds of participants, has become a fall tradition on campus. But three people who will walk the course on Saturday, Oct. 15 come with a special purpose.
Kevin and Chris Myers and their daughter, Jenna, are there for Matt.
Matt Myers, a communications major, died tragically in 2005 after a car struck him on campus. His family started Matt’s Run a year later to honor his memory, raise money for scholarships and inspire recipients to do what Matt had set out to accomplish.
“Matt was destined to do something to help people,” Kevin says of his son. “We hope that those who receive a scholarship in turn help others.”
Matt’s Run, which is in its sixth year, boasts a USA Track and Field Certified course that takes participants through the university’s scenic landscape, past the historic Arabian Horse Center and citrus groves. Proceeds and donations support scholarships, which are awarded to those who meet challenges, such as being responsible for siblings or raising their own children.
“As I walk the course, I just remember that you have to overcome the things life throws at you,” says Chris. “The path may not be easy, but you continue to turn the bad to good.”
Jenna graduated last spring with a degree in English literature and language, and she says she felt Matt’s presence at her commencement ceremony. “I obviously was very sad, but I felt his love through other people. Being there for others – that’s what matters.”
In addition to prizes for top runners, Matt¿s Run presents awards the Myers Cup to the most spirited organization based on overall participation of members, spirit displayed and fundraising. Past cup winners include the Bronco Athletic Association, ROTC and the Greek community. For the first time this year, participants can enter a raffle to win an Apple iPad and other prizes.
Runners and walkers of all ages are welcome to participate. Check-in is at 7:30 a.m., and the race begins at 8 a.m. Early registration is $30, or $15 for students with ID. Same-day registration will be available beginning at 6:30 a.m. for an additional $5.
To register or learn more about Matt¿s Run, visit www.mattsrun.org/.
(Top photo: Billy Bronco high fives the finishers of Matt’s Run in 2010. Bottom photo: ROTC cadets run the race together in 2010.)