Sixth Annual Spirit of the Tribes 5K Run/Walk to be Held November 19

Raising scholarship funds and awareness of UCR as a resource for Native American people are two of the goals of event

Opening ceremonies from the fifth annual Spirit of the Tribes 5K in 2010

The opening ceremonies from the fifth annual Spirit of the Tribes 5K in 2010. From left to right, Kim Marcus of the Santa Rosa Band of Cahuilla Indians, Native American Student Programs Director Joshua Gonzales, and UCR alumnus Michael Madrigal of the Cahuilla Band of Indians. (Photo courtesy of Native American Student Programs)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — Over 300 runners are expected to participate in the Sixth Annual Spirit of the Tribes 5K Run/Walk at UC Riverside on Saturday, November 19, 2011. The event, which also features 1/2K and 1K runs for kids, is hosted by the Office of Native American Student Programs (NASP) at UCR and is open to everyone.

Proceeds from the run will go to supporting scholarships offered through NASP.

“The aim of this event is to bring together the UCR community, the local Riverside community and local Tribal Nations,” said NASP Director Joshua Gonzales. “Overall, this is a fun, healthy event for everyone, bringing together friends, family and communities.”

The 5K course starts and finishes at the Rivera Lawn and will take runners on a winding tour of the campus. There will be awards and prizes for individuals and teams within their respective age division, gender, and race category. For the kids, a pair of fun runs will go around the Rivera Lawn and the Bell Tower. The 1K is for kids 8-12, while the 1/2K is for kids seven and under. Every child that finishes will receive a medal and the first boy and girl to finish in each division will get a trophy.

The race has grown substantially since its debut five years ago, perhaps in part due to a cultural component that helps set it apart from other 5K races.

“Prior to the start of the race, we will have an opening ceremony featuring Cahuilla Bird Singers,” he said. “Afterwards, we will have a big community expo with information booths, interactive booths, and things for the kids.”

The run is one of three major events held annually by NASP — the others being the Medicine Ways Conference and UCR Pow-Wow held in the spring. Gonzales said these events create awareness of what UCR has to offer to Native Americans in the surrounding community.

“We have had participation from the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, Cahuilla Band of Indians, Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians, Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, and much more from various tribal nations,” he said. “We want to continue to develop our relationships with local tribes, to create awareness of all the things that we do here for the Native American community. A lot of campuses don’t have what we have, and we want to create a welcoming atmosphere.”

runners from the fifth annual Spirit of the Tribes 5K in 2010

Some of the runners from the fifth annual Spirit of the Tribes 5K in 2010. (Photo courtesy of Native American Student Programs)

Those interested in running can sign up online at Walk-up registration and check-in on the day of the race runs from 7 to 8 a.m. at the Bell Tower, with the 5K starting at 8:30 a.m.

The 5K is $30 per person if submitted before the close of early-registration on November 13 and $40 thereafter. Teams of five may sign up for $125 before November 13 and $150 after. The 1K and 1/2K runs each cost $15. All participants will receive an official t-shirt and “goodie bag.” Individuals who raise $60 in pledges or teams that raise $200 will have their fees waived.

Gonzales said they are also seeking volunteers to help on the day of the race.

“We need people who can help us set up, who can serve as course marshals, and hand out water,” he said, adding that people interested in volunteering can contact him at (951) 827-4143 or by email at

Event sponsors include Digidat Solutions, StraightBlast Energy Drink, the Well at UCR, the California Center for Native Nations, Student Wellness Partners of UCR, and the Native American Student Association.

Parking for participants and spectators will be available in Lot 1 for $5.

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-4756

Additional Contacts

Joshua Gonzales

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