On Sunday, November 5, 2017, history was made when Purdue’s first ever corgi race was put on by Theta Tau. The race consisted of an introduction for each corgi, a corgi limbo, and different races, one of which featured human hurdles.
During this momentous occasion celebrating the adorable and loveable bread-like dogs, I was able to interview Eric Li, Theta Tau Philanthropy Chair. As a senior in biological engineering here at Purdue and a lover of corgis for their tiny bodies and happy, positive personalities, Eric is the owner of the most famous corgi on campus, Cheddar. He gave us an exclusive on the race here:
Co-organizers of the race Eric Li and his corgi Cheddar and Sage Archer and her corgi Eddie
Janice: Where did the idea of a corgi race come from?
Eric: Eddie the Corgi’s owner, Sage, actually came up with the idea first and I jumped on it immediately. We were originally planning for it to be a smaller event (around 8 corgis) but after the Facebook and Instagram ads blew up we added more corgis. Also, the original intention was to just do a corgi race but as we developed more ideas and gained more publicity we hoped to change it into a multiple-activity event, so more of a “corgi Olympics.”
J: How was hosting the first corgi race at Purdue?
E: It’s been absolutely amazing! I knew it would be a big hit, but not this big. We’ve reached local and national news broadcasting companies, which was very unexpected. There were, of course, numerous logistical issues with planning the event such as scheduling conflicts and the weather but this event will definitely be something that Theta Tau and partnering organizations will continue as an annual event.
J: Can you elaborate more on the charity that the race raised money for?
E: The charity that the race supported is Give Hope, Fight Poverty, which is an organization that seeks to help children in poverty in Africa. The money raised from the race actually completed GHFP’s goal for Swaziland! We raised around $6,500 from online tickets and also day-of ticket purchases.
J: Were you expecting the amount of people that showed up?
E: We were expecting a lot of people (500+) to show up as we knew this event was something that would interest a lot of people. However, something we didn’t expect was the amount of people from outside Purdue who attended the event. There were people who drove almost 2 hours to attend the event! We are definitely shooting for more people next time.
J: How many corgis were in the race?
E: Originally we were targeting 8 corgis since we didn’t know how many were actually in the area. However, after posting an ad on Facebook, Sage and I were getting calls and text messages from people wanting to enter their corgis. We got around 50 non-Purdue affiliated people wanting to submit their corgis into the race. In the end, we decided on 25 student-owned corgis to race. In the future, we may potentially have over 50 corgis from all across the mid-West.
J: How did you decide on which corgis could enter the race?
E: To limit the number of corgis, we only allowed Purdue students to enter in the race. Half the corgis that participated live with their owners on campus and the other half live at home with the students’ parents.
J: How was the race track developed?
E: I’m not sure how the track itself was developed but it was a great location for us to hold the event. We originally wanted Lambert Fieldhouse or Ross-Ade but dogs were not allowed.
J: Did you expect this many corgis on campus?
E: I knew there were at least 5 but I was not expecting 8+. I also wasn’t expecting this many people in the area to have corgis.
J: Will Theta Tau continue to partner with Give Hope, Fight Poverty in the future?
E: Yes, Theta Tau is trying to partner with Give Hope, Fight Poverty, to make this event an annual event. Purdue Student Government may also join the partnership.
The corgi race was a lot of fun to go to and experience. I would highly recommend everyone going if there is another one next year!