Not Your Average Run

By Alayna Callanan ’14
University Communications

As a graduating senior at U of R, it was on my bucket list to eat a Garbage Plate at the original Nick Tahou’s. How better to do it than by participating in Sigma Phi Epsilon’s 11th annual Nick Tahou’s Run?

Now, I am not much of a runner. I ran one season of cross-country in high school but have not run consistently since. Only twice have I ever run more than a 5K, so even without factoring in the food, the 4.4 mile run was daunting. Even worse, my stomach is fairly sensitive; I never eat fast food and try to avoid greasy, unhealthy food at all costs. However, something about Sig Ep’s run was calling to me.

For anyone not familiar with a Garbage Plate, it is combination of meat, carbs and hot sauce. In this case, two cheeseburgers over heaping piles of home fries and mac salad, smothered in Nick’s signature hot sauce along with two slices of bread, which were all donated by Nick Tahou’s. Normally, the task of running and eating is split by a team of two or three people, but I was feeling crazy enough to undertake the event without aid.

The pride of becoming an Iron Woman, running the 2.2 miles to the original Nick Tahou’s, eating an entire Garbage Plate singlehandedly, and running back, was appealing in a bizarre way.  I must not have been the only one to feel this way! Nearly 50 participants, including many Iron Men and Iron Women, braved the “balmy” Rochester day with weather hovering around freezing and occasional flurries and strong winds on Saturday, April 5. It was a tough challenge physically, but the mental game was much worse. I could not imagine doing the race alone, so I enlisted Miriam Grigsby ’17 to pursue the Iron Woman challenge alongside me. Without each other’s support, we would not have been able to finish in an hour and six minutes; together we were able to keep each other motivated, run’s both ways, and suppress the overwhelming urge to spew.

Better yet, all proceeds of the race benefitted the Mt. Hope Family Center! The Mt. Hope Family Center works with the Clinical and Social Psychology Department to build strong families by providing intervention and prevention therapies to at-risk children and families.

This race is certainly not for the faint of heart… or stomach, but I would highly recommend it to anyone considering participating in the future! While supporting a great cause, I had a fantastic and highly memorable day. One less thing to do on my shrinking list of things to do before Commencement! I am sure the Class of 2014 can sympathize with the excitement and dread of May 18. So if you are one of those seniors who still has not consumed a Garbage Plate, get on it! The clock is ticking.

And, here’s a special shout out to Jane Clinger ’16 who was the first solo competitor to finish at an impressive time of 44:20! (Depending on how fast she ate, that’s about a 7-minute mile!)

Watch WROC-TV’s story about the event here!