Big Red Race Goes Global
This year, the annual Big Red Race will take place virtually from May 29 to June 1, with over 400 participants signed up to compete.
This year, the annual Big Red Race will take place virtually from May 29 to June 1, with over 400 participants signed up to compete. Upon signing up, each participant received a personalized electronic race bib and a special Big Red Race T-shirt. After they complete the race, participants will be asked to upload their 5K times online and to share photos of themselves competing. College Counseling Co-Directors Holly Burks Becker P’06 ’09 ’12 and Jeffrey Durso-Finley, Ed.D. P’13 ’14 ’19 ’22, Co-Directors of the Big Red Race, came up with the idea of hosting a campus and community-wide 5K race to raise money for the Lawrenceville School Camp (Scamp) in 2004. Since then, the proceeds raised from the Race have funded new cabin screens, roofs, equipment, and docks at Scamp.
According to Becker, “Scamp depends on the Big Red Race for a huge part of [its] operating expenses every year...The race helps keep the camp afloat.” Over the years, Becker noted that Lawrenceville has “community families who have made this a family tradition, and...a great crew of alumni who are eager to stay connected and run the Race every year.”
To host the virtual race, Becker and Durso-Finley partnered with a professional timing service to record each runners’ time. They had to work around piloting a new system to adjust to the virtual Race while also figuring out the logistics of sending personalized race bibs to the participants. Although students may not be on campus this spring, Becker hopes that with the personalized bib and T-shirt, “people will feel connected to the race and community and share their photos with [the School’s] social media team.”
Reflecting on her worries while planning, Becker said, “I think the biggest hurdle was believing that people would register in spite of the pandemic. We needed to figure out how to get people behind the event even though they weren’t on campus and staring down the sea of amazing Scamp counselors waiting to register them in Irwin [Dining Center] every day.”
“The Race has become a positive, iconic Lawrenceville event, [and] it seemed like a great opportunity to remind everyone of the power and strength of our community to sustain us all as we navigate these unusual times,” said Becker.