UMass hosts fourth annual tower run

Over 40 registered participants took part in the race


(Jon Asgeirsson/ Daily Collegian)

By Lara Klein, Collegian Correspondent

Over 40 registered participants took part in the fourth annual W.E.B. Du Bois Library Tower Run. People of all ages including faculty, students and staff were ready to run up and down the stairs of the second tallest library in the world, which stands at about 286 feet.

The event was sponsored by the UMass Libraries and the University of Massachusetts Students of Recreation, an organization which hosts athletic events and provides comprehensive recreational and development opportunities.

The tower run required participants to run from basement to the 26th floor, a total of 440 stairs. Participants were sent two at a time up the stairs, timed individually. The winner of the race received a tote bag and water bottle from the library.

Lauren Weiss, UMass Libraries marketing and outreach assistant, said the race was inspired by a similar one at the Empire State building.

“The Empire State building is tall, has a lot of stairs and has always had a race,” Weiss said. “Since the UMass library is the second tallest library in the world, why not start a race to the top just like the Empire State Building?”

The race has grown in size since it first started – last year, there were only 25 participants. This year, that number is nearly doubled with 40 runners.

Elena Hayes and Sabrina Hefner, UMass staff, said that they were prepared for the race and were relaxed.

“I was told the race only takes about 15 minutes,” Hayes said.

Graduate students in earth science Liv Dedon and Michelle Rozycki were first-time participants.

“We have been working out now for over a month and we decided now is the time to take up a real challenge,” Dedon said.

The race proved to be intense as each participant came to the finish line. Sam the Minuteman high-fived finishers as they received a shirt that reads, “I Ran the Tower.”

Tara Borden ran the Tower Race for her fourth year in a row, explaining her pride in the event as both a UMass alum and a librarian.

“I run because I feel that it is necessary to give back to my community and show my support.” said Borden.

The winner, Henry Powell, a UMass alumnus, completed the race in two minutes and 24 seconds.

Lara Klein can be reached at [email protected]