215 people participate in Soles 4 Souls inaugural 5k


Soles 4 Soles

This past Saturday the University hosted the inaugural Soles 4 Souls 5K at the Perry Field House.

Soles 4 Souls is a non-profit organization that collects shoes for 49 states and 127 countries and provides them to those who need them. They also set up shoe stores in different locations to provide jobs for people as well. These shoes stores have relationships with retailers across the country that donate the shoes that their store doesn’t sell.

This 5K was pieced together by Veritas, a Catholic Christian Life Group at BGSU. Over 215 participants came to Perry Field House on Saturday to donate gently used shoes and participate in the race.

“I would like to see it here again, I think it’s a great organization and it brought in a lot of money and a lot of shoes,” said Veritas President Ashley Langhals.

Aside from the 5K, participants also had the option to sign-up for the Barefoot Mile. This was separate from the 5K and participants walked an entire mile completely barefoot. The concept behind this mile is to stand in solitary with those who don’t have shoes and get a small taste of what it might be like on a daily basis for them.

“We’re just giving people an ideas of what it might be like to not have shoes,” said Race Director Jordan Giovannucci.

With this being the first Soles 4 Souls 5K, a lot of planning had to occur to ensure that this event was a success. A large portion of the items at the event were donated by places such as The Cookie Jar and Dave’s Running, with other sponsors donating the majority of the prizes.

“It was super organized and I really liked that there was an option to donate shoes because it was really great to give back,” said race participant Alissa Barwinski.

The success of this event didn’t occur without a lot of planning. Two days before the race, the original route ended up having construction in the course and Veritas had to reroute the entire race. They also spent a large amount of time marketing the event to ensure that there would be a good turnout to participate.

Each year a Soles 4 Soul 5K is hosted in Defiance, Ohio. This was the first time this event occurred at BGSU, but there are hopes for its continuation in years to come.

“I would love to see many more people — I would love to see everything a little bit bigger and a little more organized,” Giovannucci said.