DeKalb Corn Classic set for Sept. 29

The 39th annual DeKalb Corn Classic 5k and 10k race takes place on Sept. 29 beginning at 8:15 a.m. Whether running, walking or volunteering, faculty, staff and students are invited to take part in the special event that is a celebration of where Huskies live, learn and work.

“The Corn Classic is a community event that really highlights and celebrates the connection between the NIU campus and DeKalb,” Jennifer Groce, director of NIU Community Affairs, said.

NIU cross country coach, Adrian Myers, shared the sentiment.

“The Corn Classic is a tremendous opportunity to bring together our NIU and DeKalb communities,” Myers said. “Everything about this event just makes sense in regards to showcasing our DeKalb and Huskie pride, as well as an opportunity to welcome those from outside communities into what we call home.”

The race starts in downtown DeKalb and weaves through campus before ending in Van Buer Plaza for a post-race celebration. The Taste of DeKalb, organized by the DeKalb Sunrise Rotary, begins right after  and continues until 4 p.m.

Myers said the Corn Classic offers attendees a chance to experience a sliver of Huskie Nation when they run through Huskie Stadium and see themselves up on the jumbotron.

“Our students truly enjoy cheering on the community just as they cheer them on in collegiate competition,” Myers said. “It’s all about forming those bonds and relationships with our community which is something truly special.”

Groce said the Corn Classic has a strong Huskie presence, from students, athletes and musicians who will be showing their Huskie pride along the race route.

“Races like this don’t happen without an army of volunteers,” Groce said. “There are places to help out, whether it’s setting up the course, passing out water or cheering on fans.”

And when it comes to entertainment, NIU musicians are ready.

Paul Kassel, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, said as runners enter campus they will be treated to the wonderful sounds of NIU’s Jazztet led by faculty member, Reggie Thomas.

“Then runners are literally given a fanfare as they cross Huskie Stadium to the trumpets and trombones of the marching band,” Kassel said. “When they leave NIU along Lucinda Avenue they’ll enjoy the thrilling sounds of our Steel Band.”

It’s a win-win for all involved.

“It’s a chance for DeKalb and NIU to show off their beauty and talent and vitality,” Kassel said. “Everyone is involved – the town, the public, the university – in making this a good time for all participants and viewers.”

For more information go to DeKalb Corn Classic.

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