Logo for The “Dan Gilbert ’17 Run to the Top”

‘Run to the Top’ 5K Challenge Race Starts New Hartwick College Tradition

September 17, 2018

A 5K challenge race from the bottom to the top of the Hartwick College campus, starts another new tradition on Oyaron Hill. The “Dan Gilbert ’17 Run to the Top” on Saturday, October 6 will be a new feature of the College’s True Blue Weekend, and offer a unique challenge for area runners.

The race begins at 8:30 a.m. at Anderson Center for the Arts patio, at the bottom of campus, and will wind its way to the top of Strawberry Field.

For those interested in participating at a more leisurely pace, there will also be a shorter competition along a level route, The Founders’ Way Walk, starting at 8 a.m.

Starting at an elevation of 1,220 feet, the Run to the Top finishes at roughly 1,560 feet; the steady incline of a course that finishes over rough terrain will not be for the faint of heart.

The 5K course starts with a relatively easy stretch, taking runners past Yager Hall to Hartwick Drive and along Founders’ Way. After a turn up the hill near the new apartment residence complex, runners begin the steepest portion of their 340-foot climb. Through the woods, toward the tennis courts and beyond, only the heartiest will make it past Table Rock and on to Strawberry Field to capture ultimate glory.

Gilbert, an Andover, MA native, is a former captain of the Hartwick men’s cross country team, and a two-time member of the Empire 8 Men’s Cross Country Sportsman of the Year Team. In 2016, Gilbert was struck by an automobile during training, nearly ending his career. Through intestinal fortitude and sheer will, Gilbert would not only recover from his injuries but return to competition the following year, when he was named team MVP.

“It’s fitting that a race so challenging would be named in Dan’s honor,” said Men’s Cross Country Coach Tom Hartnett. “It really represents the best qualities of Dan: tenacity and courage.”

Gilbert’s parents, Anne and Robert, will be in attendance for the inaugural run.

“This is no walk – or run – in the park,” Hartnett said. “This is going to be difficult, without a doubt.”

Entry fee is $20 for the general public, free for Hartwick students. Advance registration is suggestion, but not required. All finishers will receive a commemorative drawstring bag and tee shirt.

For more information (including maps of both courses), and to register for the “Dan Gilbert ’17 Run to the Top,” visit the race website or contact Alumni Engagement Officer Sabrina Lawrence ’13 at lawrences@hartwick.edu or (607) 431-4064.