Pump & Run benefits Canton community


Many communities have road races, but Canton is home to one that is a little different than most.  The Jack Hazen Pump & Run is an event that welcomes both road racers and lifters, and is making an impact in the community.

The race a few years ago for the Pump & Run begins with a mad dash. Over its time, the event has grown into something the entire community of Canton can be proud of. (Photo courtesy of Tayler Carpenter)

“We wanted to get students involved in something that would give back to the community,” said Joyce Byler, the wellness director.  She came up with the idea for this event and is in charge of planning and organizing it.  A portion of the profits go to Refuge of Hope, a local ministry that provides for those in need.

Byler thought that it would be unique to have an event that involved both weight lifting and running, since there are no other road races or events of the sort in the area.  Her hope was that it would generate interest and promote fitness while gaining good publicity for Malone.

The event consists of a 5K run, as well as the option of bench pressing a certain percentage of one’s body weight. For those who choose to do the pump, it takes place before the run. For every repetition of benching their given percentage, the participant gets thirty seconds deducted from their 5K time.

Because it is both a pump and run, the event draws in two main groups of people.  There are those who are weight lifters and those who are road racers.

“What some people do not realize is that you don’t have to do both,” said head cross-country coach Jack Hazen. “They also have the option of only running without doing the weight lifting.”

Hazen had the event named after him, and has been present at every Pump & Run in the past.  Before the event, he prays for the participants and then starts the race.  Last year, the radio station 95.9 The Light came out to broadcast the event, as well as interview Hazen about his participation in the upcoming Olympics in London.

“What I like about the event is that it’s all on campus,” Hazen said. “Unlike other road races, you can really evaluate the race and you get to see how people are doing in the middle of it, not just the beginning and the end.”

Preparation for the event is done mainly by the Wellness Council.  They begin nearly six months in advance, planning and organizing publicity as well as taking care of organizing for the actual event.

“We meet once a week, starting at the beginning of fall semester and mainly talk about the Pump & Run.” said Wellness Council member Sara Polatas.

The night before the event, the Council cleans out the weight room.  They also volunteer at the stations of the 5K.  There are also prizes and raffle baskets to be won.

[pullquote]”What some people do not realize is that you don’t have to do both,” head cross-country coach Jack Hazen said. “They also have the option of only running, without doing the weight lifting.”[/pullquote]

Many students participate in the event, as well as former athletes.  Most of the time, current runners do not participate because the race falls on the day of team competitions for track and field.

To prepare for the race, different athletes use different techniques. Runners treat the event like any road race, and train for it like so. However, those who do more weight training take a different approach.

“I only ran the actual distance during my training once,”  said former football player and personal trainer Jonathan Castillo.“I started training for the 5K about three weeks in advance, but I would only run once through the course, even though the actual race runs it twice.”

As a lifter, Castillo focused more on the ‘pump’ part of the competition. “I would continually try to increase my maximum weight, as well as increase my repetitions.” Castillo got fifth place overall in the event last year.

The Marine Corps comes in during the weight lifting portion of the event to motivate the athletes to do well.

“I liked the sense of community that there was,” Castillo said. “People were cheering all throughout the race, and the Marines really pumped us up for the lifting.”

This year the Pump & Run will take place on Saturday, April 13. Profits will again go to Refuge of Hope ministries in Canton.

Tayler Carpenter is a contributing writer for The Aviso AVW.


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