With more than a month remaining before this season’s opening tip, GW men’s basketball head coach Karl Hobbs wasted no time introducing his team to its fans with Thursday’s Colonials Run, a three-kilometer jog around the reflecting pool that gave fans a chance to run alongside the Colonials.
A total of 127 students, staff and alumni participated in the event, which was revived after years of dormancy by Hobbs to establish a rapport between the team and its supporters.
“We thought the timing was good because we’ve got so many new players,” he said, referring to the half-dozen incoming freshmen. “I wanted to give the students an opportunity to get to know the players, to come and run with the guys and get to see that they’re normal students like them and vice versa.”
Based on those surveyed, the event seemed to be a success. The Colonials chatted and mingled with the other participants, even singing and dancing as redshirt junior Travis King provided live entertainment with his drumming in Veteran’s Park before the group left for the run.
“It’s cool that they had this so I could actually meet the team,” freshman Sammie McGowan said. “They’re really cool and they’re down-to-earth.”
First-year law student Matt Roberson, the first participant to finish the run, shared similar sentiments.
“They seem like a fun group of guys,” he said. “It’ll be good to see them play.”
As for the Colonials themselves, freshman Tim Johnson paced the players and finished first among them. The former high school cross country and indoor track runner said, however, beating his teammates wasn’t his goal.
“I didn’t want to get caught up in the pack. I wanted to get out and talk to people,” he said. “This is all new to me so I’m just trying to enjoy the experience.”
Those who finished first in each of the run’s demographics – the first male and female student, staff member and alumnus – will receive Nike GW men’s basketball jumpsuits and sneakers. All participants, however, received complimentary hamburgers, hot dogs and snacks from a number of cooks, including a satisfied Hobbs.
“Any time you can get students together and there is some exercise component to it, there’s some socializing and there’s some food – that’s a great time,” he said.