AMHERST — The University of Massachusetts Amherst Dining department will host its 13th annual Dash and Dine 5K on campus on Saturday, April 20, once again with the goal of promoting health and wellness at the university and to raise money for the Amherst Survival Center.

What has become a campus tradition exemplifying UMass Dining’s mission to create community through food, the event has helped raise more than $60,000 for the Survival Center and consistently brings out runners eager to support the cause.

“This is our star event of the year in terms of helping the greater community and the Amherst Survival Center directly,” Marketing Manager for Auxiliary Enterprises — the umbrella department that oversees UMass Dining — Amanda Zwirn told Reminder Publishing. “It does not go unnoticed how important their impact is on the community and we’re just happy to lend a helping hand.”

Zwirn added the nationwide leader in campus dining has always seen the value of an organization like the Amherst Survival Center. Through creating this fundraiser, the community has been able to come together for a fun and healthy event supporting a great cause.

“The Amherst Survival Center is an important organization to the Amherst community and really western Mass at large,” Zwirn said. “And especially with UMass Dining, I always say yes we serve food in dining halls, but what we really serve is community and so when there’s opportunity for us to support the greater Amherst and the greater Western Mass community, this was just kind of like a no brainer.”

On race day, check in will begin at 9 a.m. followed by the Fun Run for children 8 and under at 10 a.m. The 5K begins at 11 a.m. with the award ceremony set for 11:30 a.m., before lunch at noon courtesy of UMass Dining, the top-ranked campus food program in the country. The 5K features a USA track and field certified course for runners, walkers and participants in wheelchairs.

The race fee for all UMass and Five College students is $10, $20 for UMass Amherst faculty and staff and $25 for the general public. This covers registration, a t-shirt and the complementary lunch.

Last year there were over 1,000 participants which set a new record for the event, according to Zwirn. This year they hope to break over 1,000 once again and added there is no such thing as too many participants in this 5K.

Zwirn added the event is accessible to all and the post-race all you can eat food inside the campus dining common is included with registration.

“You dash and then you dine so included is access to our award-winning dining halls,” Zwirn said.

To register and view the day’s schedule or make a donation to benefit the Amherst Survival Center, visit www.RunUMass.com. Walk up registration will also be available on race day.

“We always say ‘neighbors helping neighbors,’ that’s really the objective of this whole thing so the fact that we can create an opportunity for the community to come out and support itself and each other is really an important and valuable thing for us,” Zwirn said.

tlevakis@thereminder.com | + posts