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“Love Your Libraries” Fun Run Benefits University of Tennessee Libraries

More than 130 runners turn out to support University Libraries

Thirteen is a lucky number for the libraries at the University of Tennessee this year, as it marks the 13th anniversary of the annual “Love Your Libraries” 5K Fun Run. The race, which took place on Feb. 19, is sponsored by the Graduate Student Senate to benefit the UT Libraries.

The success of the event is the work of many hands. Graduate students solicit sponsors and organize the event, the Knoxville Track Club clocks and ranks runners, and UT Athletics matches Fun Run proceeds dollar-for-dollar. UT Athletics support of the Libraries has become a tradition. At the 2005 Fun Run, UT Lady Vols soccer team players were on hand to cheer runners across the finish line.

The race attracts serious competitors, as well as avid library supporters who pay the race fee and participate in a one-mile Fun Walk. Non-runners customarily include babies in race buggies and dogs sporting Fun Run t-shirts.

Of the 177 registrants, 132 completed the 3.1-mile course through the heart of UT’s campus. Overall winners were 16-year-old Andrew Shankles with a winning time of 17:43; Vijay Vulava, 37, with a time of 20:06 and Elliot Hallum, 22, finishing with a time of 20:25. Male and female masters were Kenneth Harrell and Sheree Hidalgo; Grandmasters were Keith Hall and Elaine Evans.

This year, in honor of UT’s Environmental Semester, during which environmental issues were a central theme in classes and campus events, Fun Run proceeds will be used to purchase materials with an environmental focus.

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