A striking image of a man in his 30s began to appear as he reached the finish line in front of the Dixon Center. Matthew Pearsall, a Penn State graduate, class of 1997, who majored in industrial engineering, won the 5K race held during Cabrini’s homecoming weekend on Saturday, Sept. 28.
He heard about the run through the Bryn Mawr Running Company website, which was listed among the official sponsors. Pearsall is a local resident who enjoys exercise and fitness. Pearsall said he feels “pretty good” but has not won many races outright. Pearsall didn’t expect to be the first person to finish the race. He was “just here to try to get a good workout in.” Pearsall hopes to return next year to repeat the race again. Still out of breath, he jokingly went on to say that he thought the race was only a 2.5 mile run, not 3.1 miles. Pearsall said the race “ended fairly fast. We ran around the campus and touched all the gates. There were so many hills, more hills than I expected.” He arrived at 7:15 a.m. to register for the run, using his “Saturday morning pass” that his wife gave him; she was home with their two small children.
Students, alumni and the local community were also included in the event. The race was organized by the Alumni Board and Parent Council and was open to all ages. Registration began at 7:30 a.m. and the race began at 8:30 a.m. The race titled, “Cabrini College 5K Chase” was designed to benefit the college by providing scholarships for students. It was a professionally timed race with the help of Bryn Mawr Running Company.
The event description was listed as “An exciting wake-up 5K run or 1 mile discovery walk through Cabrini College’s picturesque campus and its renowned cathedral of trees.” The Cabrini 5K Chase is a collaborative effort between the Cabrini College Alumni organized by the Board of Directors and Cabrini Parent Council. Race proceeds support the Cabrini Annual Fund, which directly benefits Cabrini students through increased financial aid, student programming and academic initiatives. Awards were given for top overall. T-shirts for the first 100 entrants and a post-race breakfast were provided to all who participated and attended the Homecoming event. Prizes include gift cards and merchandise.
Jared Schierbaum, from Delaware, was also in attendance along with college classmate John Gwiazdowski, from Philadelphia, both graduates of Cabrini’s class of 1999 and majors in criminal justice. Schierbaum is on the alumni board and brought his long time friend Gwiazowski along for the run. They are very much in touch with their community and college. Racing for fun, they both laughed when asked if they were going to win the race. Both contestants also attended the Philadelphia Phillies event held earlier this month.
Members of Parent Council, Danise Cipollone, Corinne Toth, Maria Stadtmueller and Robin Hoslo-Stahl, are hoping that this will be Cabrini’s first annual run. “The race was titled The Cabrini College 5K Chase because we wanted a catchy title to attract Cabrini and outside community to participate in a good cause,” Corinne Toth, a member of the Parent Council, said. All members of the Parent Council have students currently enrolled at Cabrini and are all volunteers interested in making their children’s campus a fun and vibrant community.
“What’s important to know is that we were looking for a community event that would attract people on campus to support Cabrini as well as the students gathering around and it becomes a way to support the college,” Danise Cipollone, member of the Parent Council, said. Hoslo-Stahl went on to explain that, “It’s the first run, first event for homecoming, and it’s followed by the parade. And not only that, it also benefits the annual fund for scholarships for students of Cabrini College.” “This event is an alumni and Parent Council joint venture. We listed information regarding the race on Cabrini’s website as well as Bryn Mawr Running Company website, we can say it was well advertised,” Maria Stadtmueller, member of the Parents Council, said.
Arielle Friscia, a Cabrini alumna of 2011, John Jack Jonas class of 2009, Danielle Alio class of 2012, all communications majors found out about race online in their homecoming weekend e-mail. “We will definitely participate in the run next year,” Friscia said. Jonas, who was out of breath, went on to explain, “We’ve walked these hills many times, but when you’re running on them, it’s completely different.”
Ralph Manoppello, a graduate of Villanova University and father of a senior, Kellie, introduced the idea of the run to other parent council members. Menapello also ran in the race. He was the person who organized it. Manoppello, who has a torn meniscus, aka: a “Ryan Howard knee,” thought the race would be a great idea considering he’s a runner himself and the campus is the perfect place to hold the event. “Its our first run, it would have been nice to have double this, we could have easily accommodated that. It’s out first try. The whole game plan is that this would be one of the events that the parent council will sponsor. We had a nice turn out. Bryn Mawr Running Co. is managing it for us. It’s fun, it’s not a hokey run. It’s professionally timed. Most runs aren’t timed correctly.”
Local home school group, kids ages 14 and under, also joined the race. After getting approval from parents, the children answered some questions regarding their experience. Mary Catherine, Maeve Brooks, Ben Palmer, Jacob Bucker, and Nate Palmer all felt great after the race. They all did the run and thought it was too hot but enjoyed it. They hope to return next year in hopes to win the event the next time around. Ben Palmer said his time was 16 minutes and 43 seconds. He hopes to complete the race next year with a time of 15 minutes.
Correction: Ralph Manoppello’s name was misspelled in the print and online version. Corrected on Oct. 15, 2013.