At last year’s Darton College Go Global 5K and 1 Mile Walk/Run, when the winner staggered across the finish line gasping for air, running the course in a little over 15 minutes, it was a victory not only for him but for Darton College, Global Education, and the cross-country team, as well.
The concept for the race and its campaign were developed and undertaken by Dr. Ulf Kirchdorfer, Darton College’s new Executive Dean for Global Education, himself an avid runner. “I just combined two great loves, running and global education, came up with a title of alliteration, and set out to find sponsors,” Kirchdorfer said. “I approached many, many in the community, both locally and on a national level, and found generous sponsors who agreed they wanted students to realize the importance of an interconnected world. We can no longer to think of the economy as something insulated. It’s either join or lose out, be disconnected.”
Kirchdorfer contacted coach David Mann, who instantly thought putting on a 5K and 1 mile walk would be fun. “I liked the idea of combining family fun, fitness, and scholarships for Darton College students,” Mann said. “I set out in my little green Mule and marked the course on campus. Dean Kirchdorfer and I became co-race directors and had lots of fun doing everything from recycling medals to mixing the Gatorade.”
Kirchdorfer and Mann were pleasantly surprised when 99 runners and walkers showed up for the event, and grateful that 100 percent of the proceeds could go toward scholarships for Darton College students, as both of them were extremely frugal in how they set up the event. “I remember Dean Kirchdorfer telling me if we were going to serve anything after the race, it would have to come out of my own pocket,” Coach Mann said with a smile. When asked about the frugal approach to the race, Kirchdorfer said, “I was not going to spend any postage on promoting the race. Email was our free Pony Express.”
Kirchdorfer and Mann are putting on the second annual Darton College Go Global 5K and 1 Mile Walk/Run again this year. The event will take place on April 9, with the 1 Mile Walk/Run starting at 8:30 a.m. at the Darton College Tennis Pavilion and the 5K starting at 9 a.m., also at the Tennis Pavilion. People can register for the race online at www.active.com or print out a form from the Darton College Web site. Those interested in sponsoring the event should contact Kirchdorfer at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mann at email@example.com. All proceeds go toward student scholarships.