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Race to Homecoming with Sparky's Challenge


Sparky’s Challenge is a West campus tradition. The 5K is in its fifth year; the 10K in its second year. The event was sparked by a student's interest in running and outdoor recreation.

November 06, 2015

Editor's note: Read more about the Homecoming 2015 lineup here.

The Homecoming festivities get off to a running start Sunday at the ASU West campus with the Sparky’s Challenge 5K/10K. The 5K (in its fifth year) and the 10K (in its second year) encourage students, faculty, staff and alumni to get out and get moving.

Sparky’s Challenge is more than a one-day experience: It’s a commitment, encouraging students, faculty and staff to use ASU services such as Sun Devil Fitness to challenge themselves and train for a race. For those needing extra encouragement, the "couch to 5K" program is available to help guide and support runners.

“The event was started by a student who was very enthusiastic not only about running, but outdoor recreation,” said David Anaya, student engagement coordinator. “From his vision we have been able to grow the event every year since its inception.”

The race and the carnival that follows are open to the public. The carnival will feature music, rides, games and food for purchase from some carnival-style food trucks and the ASU Starbucks Food Truck.

Race participants can register by visiting, or on-site the day of the race starting at 3 p.m. The 10K begins at 3:30 p.m., and the 5K begins at 4 p.m.

“Homecoming is a very special time here at ASU,” Anaya said. “Events like this provide opportunities for community members, students, faculty, staff, alumni and future Sun Devils to see the impact that ASU makes not only on campus, but around the community and world. We pride ourselves on being able to create an experience that brings all of these various groups together and share in Sun Devil Pride.”

Parking is free and located in the North Parking Lots (Lot 11 and 12).

Alumni and current students alike are encouraged to take part.

“Students should participate in Homecoming to find a sense of pride and belonging to the university,” said Kori Dowell, a junior at the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences and president of the Programming and Activities Board. “It is also a way to interact with Sun Devil Nation, past and present. I think alumni should attend to see how the university has changed and participate in the traditions that are still ongoing from their time at Arizona State.”

Note: Due to road closures and restrictions, participants will need to access parking from the 47th Avenue campus entrance.

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