Friday, May 20, 2022

Race proves to be fun for all

October 2, 2000
Dozens of children round the curve of West Circle Drive, hurdling themselves toward the finish line of their 200-yard race on Sunday. The 200-yard event was part of the 15th annual Dinosaur Dash, held to benefit the MSU Museum. —

Dan Lerner had one goal Sunday morning.

“I tried not to get passed by anyone running with a baby jogger, even though that did happen,” the Lansing resident said jokingly, shortly after finishing the 15th annual Dinosaur Dash.

The 5K race, sponsored by the MSU Federal Credit Union, is held each October and benefits educational programs and exhibits for the MSU Museum.

So while Lerner didn’t accomplish his goal, he said he enjoyed supporting the fund-raiser.

“It feels great to finish the race,” he said. “It’s a beautiful day for a great race and a good cause.”

Participants of various ages and abilities began the race at 10 a.m. in front of the museum. The course followed West Circle Drive and looped back around to its starting point.

The Museum Mile, a race for children 12 and under, and the Mini-Dash, a 200-yard run for runners 6 and under, completed the day’s competitive events.

The Dinosaur Dash earned its name in 1985 when it raised funds to purchase the fossils of an allosaurus and stegosaurus - both of which remain in the museum.

MSU Museum Director Kurt Dewhurst said the race’s prehistoric theme is part of what draws a large crowd to the event each year.

“There’s just something about dinosaurs that brings people around,” he said. “This has been a family event since the very beginning. The kids’ events bring a lot of families to the event, so everyone brings their children and grandchildren.

“This has become a major community event, and I think it’s because it connects people to the museum in such a fun way.”

The race grows larger every year and is thought to be the largest in mid-Michigan, Dewhurst said. This year’s Dinosaur Dash boasted between 1,500 and 2,000 participants.

And about 1,000 others gathered on campus to support their family and friends. Many lined the street to applaud as people finished the races.

Others could be found dancing to music that blasted from speakers outside the museum, taking pictures with MSU’s mascot, Sparty, or observing the fossil activity table and dinosaur facts inside the museum.

Nadiah Tajulariffin, along with many other children, climbed and jumped on a 20-foot-tall tyrannosaurus rex that faced the course.

The 8-year-old East Lansing resident said while she was excited to participate in the Museum Mile, she also felt a little nervous.

“I’m afraid I’ll lose,” Tajulariffin said about 20 minutes before her race began.

She planned to run the race with her brother Aiman, 10, and their friend Adam Saiful Bahri, 10.

Despite an ankle sprain that kept him on crutches, Saiful Bahri said he was looking forward to participating in the child-oriented Museum Mile.

“It’s really cool because there’s so many people here and we get to play with the dinosaur,” he said.

“Plus, I like playing with my crutches, so the race is going to be fun.”

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