By Colleen Carow
When Dale Masel started running in 2005, the tables were turned on the associate professor of industrial and systems engineering: One of his graduate students was doing the coaching.
"At that point, running more than 3 miles seemed impossible," says Masel, who started a mile at a time.
But Masel kept at it and later completed the 2008 Engineers Frostbite 5K walk/run, which raises money for Russ College of Engineering and Technology scholarships. He plans to run in this year's event, too, which is scheduled for Sat., Feb. 21, at 9 a.m.
Participants in the event, held during National Engineers Week, will complete a course that tours the Ohio University campus beginning at Oxbow Trail and South Green Drive near Walter Hall, and loops through uptown Athens.
Masel, who ran three other races in the last year, including one in Las Vegas, says he prefers the local scene. "I really enjoy the Frostbite 5K because of all the people I know who run here," Masel said.
Students who serve as Russ College Engineering Ambassadors joined Masel. Senior electrical engineering major A.J. Hendricks and a team of fellow ambassadors finished as the second-fastest student group last year. Other awards for 2009 will include the top 30 male and top 30 female finishers, as well as the "farthest froster" -- the competitor who travels the most distance to take part in the race.
"The camaraderie of running in the race together is fun," Hendricks said.
Masel agreed, noting that even his trainer took part. "And, as I was coming up to the finish line, I could hear people cheering, which was really encouraging," he said.
Hendricks hopes to enlist an even larger group this year of Engineering Ambassadors, who represent the Russ College by hosting tours and distinguished alumni.
"I'm looking forward to feeling the cold air in my lungs as I make my way around the campus," he said.
Participants can register at www.engineersfrostbite5k.com. The race entry fee is $25 until Fri., Feb. 20 and $30 on race day. Registered participants can pick up information packets at Hibbett Sports, 935 E. State St., Athens, from Feb. 19-20 -- or on race day inside Walter Hall.
The event is co-sponsored by the Russ College and local engineering firm Pickering Associates.
Sarah Ryan, student external relations assistant for the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, contributed to this story.