Daffodil Run raises money for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County

By Emma Martin

Daffodil Run in 2014 (Daily Collegian File Photo)

The Daffodil Run, which consists of two 5K and 10K road races, was held in Kendrick Park on Sunday, April 30.

The course looped around downtown Amherst amongst the view of the many blooming daffodils planted in celebration of the town’s 250th anniversary. Runners ran by crowds of people cheering them on while shaking cow bells.

Jen Loebel, the development director and race coordinator, said all the proceeds from the event support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County, which matches children with life challenges and caring adult mentors within the community.

“This is our largest run yet, it’s the seventh year, and we added a 10K for this event,” said Loebel. “We’ve had over a thousand participants today, so we’re very excited about that. It’s our best year yet.”

Both individual runners and teams were encouraged to fundraise before the race to help the event’s success and support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County.

After the race a barbecue was held for all of the runners. Many runners hung around eating, listening to music and enjoying the nice weather. The event had a bounce house and bubble machines for kids and their families.

Members of Whole Children, an organization in Hadley that offers after school programs to kids and teenagers with special needs, were at the run dressed in a goose costume to take pictures with kids, promoting their upcoming Wild Goose Chase 5K on May 21.

Jen Dolan, a runner, volunteer and University of Massachusetts psychological and brain sciences professor, said she loved the course but struggled around the second mile.

“It’s fun running through town. There was a lot of electricity, people were excited and cheering. It makes it fun and it’s for such a great cause,” Dolan said.

Allison Rigney, a senior history major, said she heard of the event after seeing multiple lawn signs promoting it.

“I’m not a huge runner and this is only my second 5K but it looked fun and for a good cause,” she said.

Prizes were awarded to the first, second, and third place male and female 5K and 10K runners as well as the top male and female runners from each age category.

Emma Martin can be reached at [email protected]