Note from the Editor: About a month ago, all of our hard work towards writing letters, seeking out donations, and getting all of our friends and family to run a 5k with us completely paid off. We were able to write a check of over $53,000 to go towards our national philanthropy, Prevent Child Abuse America, and Austin’s local Center for Child Protection. This is all thanks to Chai Murthy, our VP of Community Service. Because of her, Kappa Delta was able to successfully host their first Shamrock n’ Run around the Capitol, stepping back from our traditional Golf Tournament and towards a more inclusive and accessible event. To find out more about how PC15 Chai was able to master mind such an event—read below!
So, what made you completely re-do our old Shamrock event?
Our chapter used to do a Golf Tournament for Shamrock and after 6 years we were all eager for a change. The Golf Tournament was fantastic and successful but the chapter spoke and we wanted to do something that was more engaging of the community. After all, at the core of community service lies community engagement, it’s literally in the name! Therefore, I wanted to do something that would attract not only our families and friends, but also the greater UT community here on the 40 acres! When I got the position of VP-CS I began to brainstorm ideas to revamp Shamrock, and one of the very first things that came to mind was a 5K. I took this idea and ran with it (no pun intended).
What inspired you to make it a run?
I’ve only run one 5K in my life (and counting) and it was one of the most bizarre, fun experiences of my life. Ironically enough, I am not a fan of running but being a participant in a 5K is exciting and strangely motivating. There’s a surge of energy in the air that makes you actually want to run, and you share this rewarding experience with a group of people you barely know. Of all the events I have even attended, the 5K I ran was the most community engaging. It attracts people from all walks of life and is an all-around fun and rewarding experience (and this is coming from a girl that can count the amount of times she has run on 2 hands). More than anything, this gets people out and about, doing something great for themselves and most importantly, doing something great for a wonderful cause.
How did you do it?
Organizing a 5K is not an easy task and I speak from first-hand experience! At the beginning of my term I had never planned an event at this high of a caliber and I knew event planning about as well as I knew Mandarin Chinese (so not well at all). However last semester I did extensive research on the planning of a 5K and compiled all the information into what is now the infamous “9-week plan”. This plan was my bible and I followed it to a t. The past VP-CS, Madi McDonald gave me the idea of doing the run at the Capitol. This building is probably one of my favorite buildings of all time (did you know it’s taller than the national Capitol?!) so the idea of potentially hosting a 5K here was beyond exciting to me but also a little daunting. However, it really wasn’t as difficult as I imagined it would be. After about 10,000 phone calls (I’m not kidding guys. Sorry Capitol people) and a state representative sponsorship our event was up and ready to go!
I also had the best team possible. My Shamrock committee members were my biggest supporters and the driving forces behind the various aspects of the event, from t-shirts to permits to Snapchat geo-filters.
What was the outcome?
The rain didn’t stop anyone on the day of our first annual Shamrock ‘n’ Run 5K! 450 people showed up at 8am the morning of March 4th, 2017 to run for our philanthropies. Everyone, including all the pups, showed up with a smile on their face. It was an extremely rewarding experience to get to see months of hard work resulting in a great event and even better turnout. It was everything I imagined and more. The best part was seeing the chapters enthusiasm and support, I couldn’t have done it without them. I am beyond honored to have been able to set the precedent for an event that can only grow and improve from here.
People always ask me, “was it hard?” and my response is always yes. But I love giving back to the community and this position more than anything and getting to plan this event has been an absolute joy. It’s only been two days and I already miss it. However, I’m looking forward to Shamrock 2018! Maybe I’ll actually run this one (will probably walk though if we’re being honest).
Chai Murthy (PC 15) is not only our fab VP of Community Service but is a sophomore studying Public Health Epidemiology and get this-—she is Pre-Masters in Public Health and Pre-Med! Not to mention, she was recently selected to be a part of one of UT’s most prestigious and charitable organizations, Texas 4000. In the Summer of 2018, she will partake in the longest annual charity bike ride in the world! It’s a ~casual~ 4000+ mile ride from Austin, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska, raising money and engaging communities in the fight against cancer. But the coolest thing is how humble she is about all that she achieves! Her constant positivity and heart of gold make her so cherished here. We love you, Chai!