Habitat for Humanity Makes 5th Consecutive “HomeRun”

Sarah Baranes

On Sunday, April 15 almost 150 students and central New York residents gathered at the starting line on Hamilton’s Village Green to begin the fifth annual “Home-Run.” Twelve Colgate students from Habitat for Humanity and other clubs volunteered at the event to track running times and help set up the food and music provided at the event.

A total of eight sponsors, includ-ing Hamilton’s local Price Chopper, Wal-Mart and Chobani, donated money, gift-cards and yogurt to provide race-day entertainment and prizes for the fastest runners.

Since 2007, Colgate’s student-led chapter of Habitat for Hu-manity has sponsored the 5K and half-marathon HomeRun to raise money for the international non-profit that provides affordable housing for low-income families. The group also helps build homes for families in Madison County and raises money for other local construction projects.

“Registration was phenomenal this year,” Habitat’s co-President junior John Ranieri said. “We prob-ably had around 150 paid runners; not all of them showed up though. Last year I’d say we had around 80.”

Ranieri said they had equal participation in the 5K and the half-marathon between Colgate students and people from outside the Hamil-ton area. Habitat solicited help from almost 20 organizations outside of Hamilton to publicize the event, successfully drawing in participants from Albany, Rochester and Syracuse.

With registration fees as low as $23 for the half-marathon, the event provided a vi-able alternative to more pricey races for New York athletes who wanted to put their winter training to the test.

Sophomore Jessica Bachetti, who has been preparing for the half-marathon for the past two months on Trudy Fitness Cen-ter’s treadmills, managed to surpass her goal of 7.5 minute miles and average a time of seven minutes and 20 seconds per mile last Sunday.

“It was pretty painful in the moment, but it was great to get outside and run, especially knowing that we were all supporting such a great cause,” Bachetti said.

Bachetti pulled off the fastest time for her age group.

Whether they intensely trained or jogged the 5K at a leisurely pace, the HomeRun welcomed all runners at the finish line with live music and free food provided by Holy Smokes BBQ. Increased registration created room in the budget to replace the bagels and coffee offered in previous years with this lo-cal favorite.

“It really did make the event a lot bet-ter,” Ranieri said. “It was well worth the extra cost.”

Ranieri is confident that the success of this year’s event will not only bring back the same runners, but also attract new participants who will help make the HomeRun a Hamilton tradition.

Contact Sarah Baranes at [email protected]