As runners in white AXiD shirts approached the finish line, sorority girls tried to perfect their technique of throwing blue and yellow color into the air.
The members of the sorority Alpha Xi Delta kicked off Greek Week Sunday with their third annual Step it Up 5k run and carnival.
Music blasted for the carnival, which had games such as cornhole and face painting, but the main event of the day was the 5k.
“It was scenic,” freshman art education major Megan Chester said.
“It was the Paint Branch Trail, back where the lake is,” Jordan Burt, a freshman journalism major, added.
Race registration was $20, but proceeds were for a good cause.
“This goes to Autism Speaks, which is an organization dedicated to researching treatments and all-around how to support a family with a child with autism,” said Jojo Miller, a sophomore business student and a philanthropy co-chair for Alpha Xi Delta.
The opportunity to do something for charity drew many people to the event.
“My friend told me about this – one of the sorority girls – and I looked at it and saw it was a great cause,” Burt said.
The event was open to anyone, including students, their families, and their friends, Miller said. There were even dogs at the event, both running in the race and walking around waiting to be petted.
One hundred and forty Alpha Xi Delta girls embraced different roles on the trail and on the engineering fields to make the event run smoothly.
As philanthropy co-chairs, Miller and sophomore marketing major Madison Roll meticulously planned the race and carnival, which lasted from about noon until 2 p.m.
“It starts with reserving the space,” Miller said. “We started in February and we did a lot of ordering T-shirts, ordering color, getting people on the PR and marketing side of this, and getting people to register and donate to the event.”
The planning paid off. Although the sorority sisters throwing the color were more covered in it than many of the runners, everyone laughed and had fun. As participants crossed the finish line they grabbed water and snacks from the refreshments table. They subsequently found places to sit on the grass while they cooled down and talked with friends.
When asked if she would come back next year for the race, Lauren Taylor, a senior at South River High School whose friend is in AXiD, said, “Absolutely!”