Wharton 5K returns for first time since the pandemic

The annual 5K race for charity is the University’s largest event of its kind. This year’s event benefits The Fund for the School District of Philadelphia.

Aerial view of runners along a street with tennis courts on one side.
2017 Wharton 5K run at Penn Park (Image: Wharton Student Life: Wharton Undergraduate Division)

On Saturday, March 26, The Wharton Roadrunners and the Wharton Council will cohost the annual Wharton 5K at 9 a.m. The race starts at Shoemaker Green, located on 33rd Street between the Palestra and Franklin Field, and journeys through the University’s scenic Penn Park. Anyone can sign up. Proceeds benefit The Fund for the School District of Philadelphia.

“[The Fund for the School District of Philadelphia] is the only organization in the area that directly connects private investments to what schools self-identify as their most pressing needs,” says Wharton sophomore Michael Lentskevich, chair of external events for the Wharton Council. “This ensures all children, independent of their zip code, can hope for an opportunity to become a part of a strong, productive, and sustainable future.”

To enter for the run, participants can sign up on Wharton’s 5K website. The entry fee is $18 before March 18 and $25 after. Registered runners can start to pick up their packets on Tuesday, March 22, at the MBA Café at Huntsman Hall. The first 500 registrants will receive a technical race T-shirt, post-race goodies, and snacks.

Wharton Council member Matthew Bolbolian, a junior at Wharton, says the goal of the 5K is to bring together students, staff, and community members for a fun and unique race, while raising money for charity,

“Wharton 5K brings graduate and undergraduate students, staff, and community members together in a health-related environment and it gives back to the larger Philadelphia family in a way that ensures meaning and long-lasting impact,” he says.

Wharton junior Chin Chin Choi, co-chair for Wharton Council, says all participants can expect a friendly atmosphere, “filled with good purpose and good foods at the post-race festival.”

“It is wonderful to see the Wharton undergraduate and MBA students collaborating together on such a meaningful event for the entire Wharton, Penn, and Greater Philadelphia communities,” says Lee Kramer, director of student life, Wharton Undergraduate Division.

All teams with more than five registrants will be entered in a raffle for various gift cards and prizes.

“Participants can expect to have a lot of fun, iconic Wharton 5K T-shirts, and a ton of raffles and gifts from a variety of sponsors like Nuun and Starbucks,” Bolbolian says. “Winners can expect a lot of pride, public recognition, personalized hats, and a large packet of gift cards to restaurants around Philadelphia.”

The last time Wharton 5K was held was in 2019, as the pandemic has made it impossible to run such an event for two years. In 2019, the race benefited Minding Your Mind, an organization focused on improving mental health education among adolescents in schools and colleges around Philadelphia. In total, there was a little over $10,000 raised through the Wharton 5K, which was donated directly to the organization.