Southern Miss Campus Recreation hosts 5K Color Run


The University of Southern Mississippi students, staff and the Hattiesburg community members gathered for a morning of fun for the 5K Color Run which took place in Spirit Park on April 15. The event was put together by graduate students from USM’s Campus Recreation Department. A total of over 100 runners of all ages were covered from head to toe in colored powder which is corn starch from the beginning to the end of the 5k run.

Drazen Moratzka, a fitness and wellness graduate assistant, says people who are participating in the run should wear white so they can be covered with colored cornstarch. “It’s just an overall great experience for people and for our staff. We have a lot of volunteers that go towards it,” said Moratzka. People such as Hannah Hayes, a WDAM meteorologist, say that she does not train for events like the 5k run but she wants to have fun. “I do love to go out walking and running every now and then so getting to have a good time is what I want to have,” said Hayes.

Graduate students from the past came up with the idea for colored cornstarch to be thrown on students, staff and the community during the 5k run. “The color run is always adapting, it’s always evolving so we’re open to different ideas and different things that students may be interested in or want to be involved around,” Moratzka said. He says that they are looking to change next year but still keep the same format or try different coloring options.

The 5k Color Run has been stable for 20 years as a graduate student lead event. The event also raises funds to go toward student scholarships. The scholarships are utilized and based on the use of USM Campus Recreation student staff, who work at the Payne Center on the Hattiesburg campus. “The longer you work in the Payne Center, the more chances, more opportunities you have to get a scholarship from the Payne Center and that goes along with some academic standings,” Mor-Tezuka said.

USM Campus Recreations also receive money from sponsorships from the community such as F-45 Training, Laser Mania, Century First Bank, Glory Bounds, The Grand 18 Theater, Valley Living Solutions and Smoothie King. They also receive sponsors from businesses and donors for other Campus Recreation lead events. April Jordan, an assistant director of marketing says the 5k run is promoted “that month leading into the event” and the way to register is to go online and sign up through their Race Entry. For more information on future events, please visit their Instagram page @southernmisscampus-rec.