THON 5K: Strides to Celebrate Our Stars

Posted by THON | @pennstatethon

The 17th Annual THON 5K is just around the corner and it’s going to be the best it has ever been. VALLEY is here to tell you what to expect on the big day, and don’t worry, you don’t actually have to run the race to show your support for our little hero’s!


Presented by Unilever, the THON 5K is an event put on each year in October to unite the THON community and to inspire the families for the future. Carolina Carlton, Penn State junior and a THON Media Relations Captain describes the upcoming 5K, “We have a lot of new fun things going on this year, we are trying to take it a step past just being a 5K where you run, and have it more as a celebration for kicking off the start of THON for the year.”

“The committee members are getting more involved, they’re going to be lining the course in fun costumes to motivate all the runners. We’re also having My Hero Zero performing at the end as a dance party kind of vibe. We’re trying to have a lot of energy and just a really positive environment!”

This year is also the 3rd annual Virtual THON 5K, in which anyone who wants to run the 5K in support of THON, but can’t make it, can sign up here and run from their hometown.


Anyone can participate in the 5K as long as they are registered. The entire THON community gathers in excitement including students, THON Committee Members, the families, the kids, and the Center Country community.

Maddy Hughes, Penn State Senior and another THON Media Relations Captain says, “Anybody can run. I know some of my old co-captains and my old director are participating this year too!”


The race is taking place this Sunday, Oct. 15 with the kid’s race beginning at 11:05am followed by the competitive race at 11:30am.


The race is taking place at the Bryce Jordan Center, in State College, PA.


The THON 5K serves as an inspiring occasion in which the community raises awareness and spreads “THON’s mission to other parts of Pennsylvania and to other people who might not know about what we do here,” says Carlton.

“It’s the first event that everyone can come together for the year. It’s a really important event to welcome back all of the Four Diamond Families and any new Four Diamond Families, to give them an idea of the THON community, and give everyone a chance to build those relationships between the students, the families and the children.”

When asked what she would tell anyone who has not been to the THON 5K before, Carlton stated passionately, “If you go to the 5K, it gives you a good idea about how THON is in February. My advice for anyone running or attending would be to stand by the finish line. It’s really fun to see the kids finish and all the cool costumes that people wear when they run. I would definitely stick around after the 5K to be able to hang out with the families and do all the fun stuff. For anyone not very familiar with the 5K, I would tell them its more than just a 5K.”

Registration is still open and it closes on the day of the race, Sunday Oct. 15, at 10:30am. Come and celebrate our stars and show your support. VALLEY will see you at the finish line!