Off to a Howlin’ Good Start

During Wolfpack Welcome Week, University Recreation gave students multiple opportunities to participate in fitness activities. This past Sunday at RecFest, students were exposed to tons of student organizations that they could join from rowing to lacrosse. However, Monday night’s Moonlight Howl and Run gave students the chance to run under the moonlight skies and channel their inner howling wolf.

Howl and Run is an annual two-mile midnight run through the streets of campus as part of Wolfpack Welcome Week. Thirty-five hundred students, who were flooded with 2,000 glow sticks and neon clothing, started the race at the Belltower and ran south passing Carmichael then up Dan Allen Drive. Sprinters jolted in the front and walkers followed suit in sync behind them all passing Mr. and Ms. Wuf cheering them on. The end of the race followed with a celebration in the Brickyard as a dewy drizzle of rain began to fall after the last pack of students crossed the finish line.

The times of the racers ranged from 8 minutes and 20 seconds to 36 minutes. The first to finish the race was a sophomore, civil engineer from Raleigh who has ran a marathon in the past. When he started the race he wasn’t focused on being the first but rather setting his pace at a speed that was good for him. He just so happened to lead the pack and was excited about it.

Other students who participated spanned across a diverse base of out-of-state and international students accompanied by North Carolina Wolfpack natives. A student from India says that he has done plenty of marathons for charities back home but this race was “out of the box” and the most exciting race he has done in his life. He has been here in the states since the spring and wanted to experience a unique way of meeting other students. This race fulfilled that for him.  A group of freshmen suite mates came to Howl and Run because they wanted to get involved with Welcome Week events as well. Students also enjoyed the incentives of free t-shirts.

To kick off the Brickyard bash, students crossed the finish line to a dance party in front of the atrium crowded with hundreds of students dancing together to pop, rap and international music with an energetic DJ.

“The Moonlight Howl and Run provides an opportunity for students within NC State to connect and create community centered around physical activity,” says William Craig, a coordinator for the event.

This event allowed students from a variety of fitness backgrounds the chance to run together and support each other. Two students, Griffin and Lauren, were a great example of this. Griffin, a sophomore, has run marathons before. Lauren, however, has never participated in an official run, so the Howl and Run was out of her comfort zone. With the completion of the run and encouragement of Griffin, Lauren plans to start training to be able to run other marathons in the future.