By Lance Jordan, Sports Editor
Secily Shambaugh, assistant director of fitness and wellness and avid runner, attributes 5ks to prompting her running career and to doing much longer distances, such as a 10k and half marathons.
It was no wonder Shambaugh and the entire Recreation and Wellness Center (RWC) staff were excited to bring back the Goose Chase 5k for its second year.
“Prior to our facility being open, they ran a 5k every year during homecoming week called the Frozen 5k. The year I started, it had to be rescheduled due to weather, and that gave us the opportunity to create a new run,” Shambaugh said about the creation of the Goose Chase 5k.
So how did the infamous University of Missouri–St. Louis geese become involved in the RWC 5k event?
“We called it the Goose Chase because of the famous geese on campus and thought it would be a funny way to incorporate them and motivate people to run,” she said.
The Goose Chase will take place on April 29 at 9 a.m. during Mirth Week. The course will be finalized within the coming weeks. There will be adjustments to the course from last year, as there was a little bit of confusion for the runners.
Students can register at the Pro Shop located in the RWC on the first floor, or online at umsl.edu/campusrecreation. Students will only pay $5, while faculty will pay $10, and community members will pay $20.
There is, however, a way to register for the Goose Chase 5k for free. “We will be have some golden eggs placed around campus. If people find them, they’ll have a free entry into the race,” Shambaugh said. Hints for the egg’s locations will be posted on the RWC’s social media accounts throughout the month.
There will be geese-related prizes, including a special wooden goose for the runner who finishes first. Also, the RWC staff will providing snacks to participants before the 5k.
Shambaugh does offer some suggestions for first-time runners who are thinking of participating on April 29.
“I would definitely say utilize our indoor track or treadmills if they can prior to the event. I think it’s important for participants to realize they have to start small and work their way up to that 5k distance. There are a lot of programs online, or they can email me. I’ll be happy to suggest a running plan for them,” she said.
Shambaugh received her undergraduate degree in health, fitness and public health from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.
“Growing up, I was always involved in sports and athletics. I went to college and actually started off as a biology major and then realized that science and math wasn’t what I wanted to do forever. So, I got started teaching group fitness at the campus rec center at Purdue and then kind of figured out how I could change my major to do something along those lines,” she said.
Shambaugh then received her master’s degree in recreation, sports, and tourism management at the University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign. Shambaugh has been with the RWC since it opened. She recalled applying for the brand new facility: “I was at DePaul University in Chicago, and they had an assistant director of fitness and wellness spot open up here, and I was interested in it. I thought it would be interesting to start a program from scratch and building it from the ground up.”
As assistant director, Shambaugh oversees all fitness and wellness programming, group fitness classes, fee-based classes, special events, and the new Whole U, located in the Millennium Student Center.
Last year the Goose Chase 5k only had 19 participants. This year the staff at the RWC would love to see this number double, if not exceed that. This run is one of the RWC’s annual staples, which the planners hope to see grow year after year.
“I think it’s just a great way to spread our school spirit throughout UMSL,” Shambaugh says. “And it’s a great way to get some exercise in.”