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Hundreds of runners take over Old Dominion University for Big Blue 5K

The yearly event takes runners on a tour of the campus and onto the football field -- and it’s all for a good cause.

NORFOLK, Va. — Running onto Kornblau Field at Old Dominion University’s S.B. Ballard Stadium is usually reserved for ODU’s football players. But Saturday morning, hundreds of people crossed the 50 yard line to finish the Big Blue 5K, and the weather couldn’t have been better.  

“Unbelievable!" Race director Jerry Frostick said. "The humidity has dropped. We have a misting station. We have ice out there, but I don’t know if we’re going to need it.” 

Frostick said 1,500 people registered for the 5K which takes participants on a tour of ODU.

“If you’ve never toured Old Dominion University, this is the place to do it. We got all through the fields, the new buildings – the campus has just grown like crazy,” he said.

Runner Chyance Mattison said this is the 3rd time he's run the race.

“It feels good right now, but not when you’re running down the street," Mattison joked about the weather. “It was hot. I did good for my first race in a while! COVID slowed down the racing a lot, but we did great.” 

This is the 9th year for the event, which took a two year break because of the coronavirus pandemic. The run is also for a good cause: it benefits the Old Dominion Athletic Foundation.   

“It helps us pay our student athlete scholarship bill," said Jena Virga the executive director of the Foundation. "It just so wonderful to have 1500 plus people see what our campus looks like now and get to experience this." 

She said the event raises thousands of dollars for the foundation which benefits the university’s student athletes.

The 5K ended with a big post-race tailgate party in the stadium’s parking lot. The event also included a 1K run for kids. 

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