Coug Race, 5k to promote mental health awareness

Proceeds from event will support ASWSU Coug Health Fund



DJ Mackie, coordinator for UREC’s competitive sports and youth programs, says the principal difference between the two events is the obstacle course element.

GEORGE ERALIL, Evergreen reporter

WSU organizations are hosting a Cougar Courage 5k and Rugged Coug Race on Saturday to promote and raise funds for mental health awareness.

Organizations hosting the events include University Recreation, ASWSU, WSU Army ROTC and Cougar Health Services, said DJ Mackie, coordinator for UREC’s competitive sports and youth programs.

The Rugged Coug Race will commence at 9:30 a.m. with check-in starting at 8:30 a.m., and the Cougar Courage 5k starts at 9:00 a.m. with check-in starting at 8:15 a.m., according to the UREC website.

Registration will be open on the day of the events. Participants can register until 9:00 a.m. for the Rugged Coug Race and until 8:45 a.m. for the Cougar Courage 5k, according to the website.

The registration fee will be $25 for students and members of UREC, and it will be $35 for non-members, according to the website.

Mackie said the principal difference between the two events will be the obstacle course element of the Rugged Coug Race.

The event will serve as an outlet for people to have fun, Mackie said, but will also provide them with a challenge.

“The obstacle course race element of it is something [participants] can train for, something that’s cool and out of the norm,” Mackie said.

Both events will start and end across the street from the Student Recreation Center, he said.

ASWSU President Savannah Rogers said WSU organizations wanted to combine the Cougar Courage 5k and Rugged Coug Race because they wanted to host a larger event.

“It’s almost like a choose-your-own-adventure 5k,” Rogers said. “You can either go to the Rugged Race, where you’re climbing over obstacles and there’s things like mud, or you can just do the traditional 5k route.”

Rogers said the Cougar Courage 5k will take place on paved roads and provide an opportunity for parents with small children to participate, allowing them to push their children in strollers if they wish.

Proceeds from the event will go to the ASWSU Coug Health Fund, Rogers said. The interest that the endowment fund accumulates every year goes to mental health resources and sexual assault prevention resources on campus, she said.

“It is going to be a lot of fun, but there’s also an opportunity to learn more about sexual violence prevention and mental health resources on campus, and in the community as well,” Rogers said.

Mackie said individuals who sign up for the event will receive a free T-shirt as an accolade for participating and conquering the race. Winners of the timed Rugged Coug Race in each age division will receive a wooden medal.

“We want to give you a nice challenge with this [event],” Mackie said. “We want you to get muddy and get dirty, but have fun doing it.”