Alpha Omicron Pi celebrates 25 years of Run for the Roses

Mary-Kate Burkert

Alpha Omicron Pi sorority partnered with the Ames Area Running Club on Sunday to host its 25th anniversary of Run for the Roses, a 5k and 10k race that raises money for its international philanthropy, Strike Out Arthritis.

The race took place at Ames Middle School, and the 1,193 participants included Ames and nearby area residents, ISU students and student-athletes. Children also partook in the Fun Run around the middle school’s track. Last year, the event raised more than $15,000.

“We were really excited to celebrate the lasting success of our race. Run for the Roses really is a community event; everything from the breakfast to the door prizes are donated from local businesses,”said Megan Becker, one of the Alpha Omicron Pi philanthropy chairwomen and senior in biology. “We really wanted to host an amazing event for the people of Ames because they truly are the heart and soul of this race. Also, we focused on commemorating those with arthritis and providing facts about arthritis to our participants.” 

Run for the Roses started back in 1987, and in honor of the event’s anniversary, the race coordinators had a goal of raising $25,000 this year, but the total amount raised is yet to be calculated. After the race, an all-you-can-eat omelet breakfast and a rose were provided to participants for supporting arthritis research and staying active.

“Part of what makes Run for the Roses a success is because of the great tradition behind it; previous runners who participate in the event always come back every year to do it again and contribute to our success,” said Kelcie Reed, member of Alpha Omicron Pi and junior in apparel, merchandising, design and production. “Also teaming up with the Ames Area Running Club makes it such a great success because of all their help.”

As the years go on, the philanthropy continues to grow in achievement.

“This philanthropy is special because we don’t just target the ISU greek community to participate, but we get the whole city of Ames involved,” Reed said. “It’s great to see everyone come together to help a great cause, and you can get the best of both worlds: a good workout and an all-you-can-eat breakfast.”

With the large number of participants, there was a wide range of reasons runners chose to take part in this year’s Run for the Roses.

“I choose to do the run because arthritis is common in my extended family, and it’s always great to support your friends at other philanthropies,” said Anna Hope, junior in kinesiology and pre-physical therapy.

Reviews of the race were nothing but enthusiastic and high-spirited.

“The event had a great turnout, and it was very well organized. It is always a good time getting together with people that enjoy a challenging run and supporting charities,” said Anne Cox, junior in animal science. “[Run for the Roses] was a perfect start to my Sunday with the motivational signs and constant crowd of people cheering us on along the way. The food afterward was delicious, too.

“I will definitely be involved in the race in the future and hope the event continues to grow.”