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Fly By Night 50-Mile Relay set Feb. 22

Students who run or who are interested in starting a running regimen, listen up. From 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22 to 5 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 23, the Honors Program at Florida Gulf Coast University will be hosting the fifth annual Fly By Night race. Tickets for each team cost $175; cost of tickets will increase to $200 on Feb. 9. Proceeds will benefit The Gulf Coast Humane Society.

“The purpose of Fly By Night is to have a large fitness event on campus that encourages teamwork and for students to stay healthy,” said Dr. Sean Kelley, who started Fly By Night at FGCU. “It is open to all students. It is a really fun event. Music, food, a lot of great stuff. It is on the Recreation Field where the tents are and goes all the way around campus. Some people come to compete while others come to cheer on friends and just have fun.” Kelley said that students who wish to participate in Fly By Night can sign up on Active. com. Teams should arrive by 6 p.m.

Due to academic responsibilities, the Honors Program has partnered with Campus Recreation to host Fly By Night this year.

“The Honors Program started Fly By Night five years ago and they have done a fantastic job. This is Campus Recreation’s first year helping out with the program. It started off as a small event and grew bigger each year. The Honors Program had a lot of academic responsibility, and it is a fitness-related program, so we wanted to partner up with them to host the event,” said Carl Bleich, Campus Recreation and Special Events director at FGCU. Bleich is the official host of Fly By Night this year.

Fly By Night, which was started in 2010, is being sponsored by German company Arthrex this year. Arthrex was founded in 1981; its global division is located in Munich, Germany, where the company originates. Arthrex is a manufacturing company that makes orthopedic surgical supplies; the company’s headquarters relocated to Naples in 1991. Those interested in finding out more information on the company can go to http://www.arthrex.com/. The thought of a 50-mile relay run may sound scary to those who have little to no experience with running. But according to junior Honors Student and software engineering major Nowele Rechka, who ran Fly By Night in 2011 and volunteered in 2012, first-time runners should not sweat over it.

“It was the first race I had ever really done. It was hard because I am not much of a runner and did not train much for it. It was really good though. There is always a lot going on; it is a pretty competitive event; medals for everyone who finishes it. Students can walk for most of it. It is pretty laid back and is a friendly event,” Rechka said. Rechka also had some words of advice for those looking to volunteer, as well as those looking at Fly By Night as a way to start getting involved at FGCU.

“I signed up for volunteering because I did not want to run but still wanted to participate. I did check-in and I also checked on the runners. If you do not have a lot of volunteer experience, this is a great place to start. It is a big event and they need a lot of help,” she said. Rechka is not the only Honors student who has past experience with Fly By Night. Senior Honors student and biology major Alex Bos has ran twice, volunteered once, and will be volunteering this year. Bos gave a rundown of what students should expect at the race, and how he got his own team together.

“The Honors Program encourages us all to participate, so I got a team together by recruiting people. I had a bunch of friends who were interested. You run about two miles around campus and when you are done someone else from your team takes over. Each team averages about three and a half to six hours, although you have eight hours to run,” Bos said. “The running is very tiring and rewarding. Even though it is very competitive, everyone there is very supportive.”

Bleich also pointed out that, whether you run or not, Fly By Night is a great way for students to get out and see all that FGCU has to offer. “Fly By Night is a great event, whether you are participating or not, to have something to do on a Saturday night and to get involved with FGCU. It is great to come out, hang out with friends, have fun, meet new people and see the entire university out there,” Bleich said.

 

From left: Johnny Baker, Chris Rohling, Kayley Ingle, Jacob Ford, Meredith Rankin, Carey Walker and Melanie Perez. Photo courtesy of Johnny Baker
Students on the “Vampire Zombie Ninja Turtle” team gathering for a group photo after almost eight hours of running and tailgating together at the 2013 Fly By Night 50-Mile Relay.

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