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5 Reasons to Participate in the Beat Coach Pete Fun Run

I wanted to share my experience of this year’s Beat Coach Pete Scholarship Fun Run. I COULD tell you about how much fun I had, but instead, I’d rather give you reasons to sign up for the run next year and have fun yourself.

1. Rub elbows with local celebrities – literally.

You’d be hard pressed to argue that the recent success of the Boise State football program hasn’t been one of the most exciting things to happen to the Treasure Valley in quite a while, and in many ways, the face of that success is Coach Chris Peterson. Despite his near constant presence on both local and national media, Coach Pete arrived at the fun run without pomp and circumstance, slipping quietly into the waiting crowd and obligingly taking pictures with racers. Also standing (or should I say towering) next to Coach Pete at the starting line was BSU defensive end Jarrell Root. For those Bronco fans that often can get no closer to the Blue than their television screens, the annual fun run is a way to stand packed in, elbow-to-elbow, with local stars as you wait for the race to start.

2. Support the BSU general scholarship fund.

According to go-on-idaho.org, Idaho is in the bottom 10 states in the nation for its people finishing a four year degree, and ranks 50th (seriously, dead last!) in the nation in college retention rates (first time college freshmen returning for their next year). It’s a complicated and wide-reaching problem, but one way to help is to sign up for the fun run. Your race fee helps fund the BSU general scholarship fund and will make a difference to a student who might not otherwise be able to afford an education. Every little bit helps!

3. A 5k is, like, SO doable.

The Beat Coach Pete event attracts all ages and abilities, as evidenced by the diverse crowd. For those who don’t know, a 5k is 3.1 miles, and it’s a very family-friendly distance. I saw young adults, parents with babies in strollers, grandparents, and kids (many of whom were a heck of a lot faster than me). Runners and walkers are equally welcome, and because there are no starting corrals, newbies can benefit from their more experienced peers. I overheard one woman dispensing advice to her first-timer friend, “You kind of have to sprint at the beginning, but you can slow down once you get to the greenbelt.” Another advised his comrade, “Just take it easy in the beginning, and we’ll catch them later at the end.” Varying strategies and competitiveness aside, the Beat Coach Pete run really is fun for all ages.

4. Be part of the show.

Though it may not have the spectacle of some other racing events, the Beat Coach Pete run is still a fun show. The BSU cheerleaders perform before racers chase Coach Pete past TV cameras. The route is lined with cheering fans and handmade signs. At one point in the race, someone was blasting the Rocky theme. Participants arrive in varying levels of festive costume and dress (or undress) for the occasion, and I think I saw pretty much every member of the Justice League (I overheard Wolverine complaining to the Hulk that his jeans were hurting him). As you near the finish, you get to race through the giant inflatable helmet and sprint around the blue football field that’s so familiar from TV but few of us actually get to set foot on. Once finished, you’re greeted with a feast of chocolate milk, bagels, and bananas. All in all, it’s not a bad start to a Saturday.

5. You get a t-shirt.

Whether or not you end up beating Coach Pete, you’ll still walk out with a cool souvenir for your 5k efforts. If you’re picky about the size of t-shirt you get, you might have to hustle (I’m told some sizes began to get scarce around the 25 minute mark), but either way, you’ll have something to show off to your friends who spent the morning watching TV and eating Froot Loops.

Have I convinced you yet? Then I’ll see you and Coach Pete at the starting line next year!

– Becky

P.S. Check out my other guest blog posts – “My Buddy & Me,” “A Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving,” and “You’re a Runner!”

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