Nick Costes Homecoming 5K to honor former Olympian

Sinclair Portis
Staff Writer

The 21st annual Nick Costes Homecoming 5K race will take place on Saturday, Oct. 15, at 8:30 a.m.
The race will be held before the downtown Homecoming Parade and is sponsored by the Alabama National Guard.
All of the proceeds will be going to Troy University’s Campus Kitchens, an organization that aids in hunger relief for the Troy-Pike community by taking untouched, leftover food from the Troy Dining facilities and repurposing them into healthy meals for community distribution.
Sam Soisson, a senior sport management major from Lehigh Acres, Florida, and one of this year’s marshal leaders, emphasized the importance of dedicating time to raising money for philanthropies.
“It’s important to be philanthropic because raising money and awareness for a cause can shed light on something many people may not know about,” Soisson said.
“The more awareness and funds a philanthropy gets, the more good it can do.”
According to Robert Mathner, a professor in sport management and the Nick Costes 5K race director, the race is named after Nicholas Costes, an inspirational Olympian who was Troy University’s first track and field coach. Costes participated in the 1956 Olympic Games and was the first American to finish the men’s marathon that year.
A professor of kinesiology at Troy State University, Costes was not only known for being a great and passionate runner and athlete, but also for his intelligence.
On Saturday, March 15, Costes passed away at age 76, due to complications from cancer.
The School of Hospitality, Sport and Tourism Management (HSTM) hosts the race in honor of Costes’ life, as it has for the past few years. Many of the students take part in planning the event, while others serve as event volunteers.
“Putting the race together serves as a good learning experience,” said Kayla Snyder, a senior sport management major and last year’s marshal leader from Birmingham.
The race was originally held in the spring semester but has since moved to the fall.
“We switched it over to coincide with homecoming to get better participation,” Mathner said. “It has something for the alumni and students to do the morning before the parade.”
Last year, over 100 people registered and paid, but not all of those people ran, according to Mathner.
“We would like to have over 100 runners,” said Mathner. “We like to encourage all students to be a part of it.”
“Our goal for the future is to work with the Student Government Association of the university as well as the city of Troy,” Mathner said. “We want to make it a more festive and successful parade by bringing in more people to downtown prior to the parade, but also making the 5K more attractive.”
According to Soisson, the HSTM urges people not only to run in the race, but also to come and volunteer.
The volunteers will help direct the runners through their route and also pass out water during the race.
The starting point of the race will be at the Square near Momma Goldberg’s.
Cash prizes will be given to the top three men and women, and Barnes and Noble gift cards will be given to winners of each age division. The divisions include 15 and under, 16-22, 23-29, 30-36, 37-43, 44-50 and 51 and up.
The award ceremony will immediately follow the completion of the race.
Interested individuals can register online at through Wednesday, Oct. 12.
Registration and packet pickup will be available in front of Sartain Hall on Friday, Oct. 14, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
For more information, visit the above link or the “Nick Costes Homecoming 5K — Troy University HSTM” Facebook page.

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