May 052005
Authors: Anne Farrell

Organizers of a benefit race want people to keep Cinco de Mayo running, literally, by participating in the Cinco-Cinco race Saturday, which raises awareness for sober driving.

The ninth annual Cinco-Cinco 5K walk/run will be held at 8 a.m. Saturday. The 5-kilometer run will begin at the Oval, continue around the outside of campus and end back in front of the Administration Building.

Following the initial run will be an event where children ages 8 and younger may participate in a Fun Run race around the Oval. A 5K is approximately equal to 3.11 miles and may be run or walked in about 45 minutes, said Loretta Capra, race director. Established in 1994, the race itself is held in conjunction each year with the Old Town Cinco De Mayo festivities.

Funds raised by the Cinco-Cinco are used to provide scholarships for CSU undergraduate students. The race was able to sponsor two $500 scholarships in 1997, which had grown to a total of six scholarships awarded last year. Information regarding the scholarship may be obtained online at

The event is held in memory of Gil Gutierrez, CSU's ombudsman from 1990 to 1993. Gutierrez was killed by a drunk driver while jogging in 1993. The run is designed to both honor Gutierrez and encourage young people to make better decisions.

"Drunk drivers don't think about what they are doing" said junior Geoff Johnson, an English major. "They should think more and realize what they are doing and the consequences behind that."

On average there are 300 participants each year from around Fort Collins ranging in athletic abilities from serious runners to walkers. Awards are given to the top finishers in each age bracket, and a raffle is completed following the race a to distribute prizes to those who did not finish first.

"You don't have to be a top finisher. It is an achievement and an accomplishment (to race)" Capra said.

More than 50 volunteers participate each year to make the Cinco-Cinco possible, doing a variety of tasks including fund-raising, marking the course, registration and educating participants about sober driving along with a variety of other tasks. Those interested in volunteering for next year may contact Capra at 491-4847.

Anyone interested in walking or running may register until 6 p.m. today at the Student Recreation Center room 116, the Wellness Zone inside the Lory Student Center until 4 p.m., Foot of the Rockies (located on 150 E. Harmony Road) and Runners Roost (located 902 W. Drake Road) until 7 p.m. Pre-race registration costs are $17 for adults, $15 for seniors and students, and $12 for students living on campus. The registration cost includes a T-shirt the day of the race. Runners may register the day of the race beginning at 6:30 a.m. on the Oval.

The Cinco-Cinco is early in the running season and is often the first race many runners participate in for the season, Capra said. Through this medium, participants are offered the opportunity to stay in shape, send the message to the community that driving sober is the right thing to do, and help fund education.

"A lot of people think they are OK to drive because they haven't had a lot to drink but it obviously doesn't make it any safer," said Nick Rossi, a junior English education major.

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