“Show Your Colors”

JU SVA Hosts Second Annual 5K Color Run

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Photo By Christina Kelso


At Jacksonville University’s  second annual Show Your Colors Run, the Student Veterans Association brought approximately 225 runners and cheering crowds of volunteers, supporters and spectators to the Dolphin Green.

Before the race began, the JU Marching Band started the event with a performance of the “The Star-Spangled Banner.” As the music played, the attendees fell quiet in respect.

Following the anthem, guest speaker Mike Fleming, chief government community and relations officer, shared a few words about the SVA, who made the event possible, as well as the details of the run.

“I’m here responsible for the military efforts in supporting the run, but the real work and praise goes to the Student Veterans Association who are continuing to look for ways in supporting the veterans on campus,” Fleming said.

A veteran himself, Fleming served 30 years in the Marine Core and National Guard and earned a B.A. in Science from Jacksonville State University, M.A. from the U.S. Naval War College, and a M.B.A from the University of North Florida.

After the guest speaker, runners lined up to start. As soon as the gun was fired, they were splashed with colored powder and took off down the track. The race was a 5k run, approximately three miles, that started at the Dolphin Green and weaved through the campus.

As they dashed through JU, runners were blasted by more color stations along the course before being greeted back at the finish line with cheers and water.

Participants, covered head to toe in color, gathered at the finish line taking pictures, talking and catching their breath.

The first runner to cross the finish line was Lieutenant McDonner David, who described the event as “outstanding.”

“I hope I can do this next year,” David said.

During the race, there was a bounce house for children, a rock climbing wall, music, and a food truck called “Rolling Dogs and More.”  Additionally, organizations from throughout the city reached out to event attendees in booths on the Green. The National Guard and the Student Nurses Association took vistors’ blood pressures and handed out water. The JU Marine Science Research Institute sponsored a touch tank for visitors, containing marine animals caught in the St. John’s River such as sea pansies, sting rays, southern flounders, sea robins, silver perch and spot fish.

Volunteers helped to register participants before the race as well as offer them water and cheer them on as they ran.

“I volunteered because I felt this was a good event for charity and my friends were doing it,” said Roland Stan, volunteer.

JU President Tim Cost and his wife Stephanie Cost arrived to show their support.

“This is the best part of the job, to come out to campus events and meet new students,” Stephanie Cost said.

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Photo By Christina Kelso

After the race ended and the participants returned home, remnants of colored powder coated the campus sidewalks, leaving a bright symbol of the day behind for passersby.