Samantha Larmer (left) jogs with her dog Dixie (right) towards the finish line during the Superhero 5k Run on Oct. 29, 2016. (Khone Saysamongdy/The Collegian)

Super run for a super cause

Super suit? Check. Cape? Check. Gloves? Check? Running shoes? Check.

Graduate students of Fresno State’s Sports Psychology Club in the kinesiology department held the fourth annual Super Fun Super Run 5K on Oct. 29.

The event was a dual effort. Half of the raised funds is to send the club to a conference, and the other half will be donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central California.

Dr. Dawn Lewis of the kinesiology department, an associate professor of sports psychology and faculty adviser to the club, said their team philosophy is, “You can’t ask people to give without  giving as well.”

“When we put on a 5K, we split our proceeds with a charity of the students’ choice,” Lewis said.

Lewis said the two goals of the event are raising funds to go to the national conference of sports psychology and to put on a mental skills training camp for high school student athletes.

Lewis said her favorite part about the event is working with her students.

“I have learned over the years that I have to take a step back and let them [try], and not do everything for them because it’s a learning experience for them,” Lewis said. “Another thing I enjoy is that Big Brothers Big Sisters came in and really partnered with us this year. They [students] are learning from a group of people who are pros at fundraising,” Lewis said.

She added that a few of her students plan to work with the organization in the future.

Diane Phakonekham, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central California said, “We were so excited, so humbled for the opportunity. When we met with them, we were like, ‘What can we do to help?’” Phakonekham said.

She said the organization services five counties in the Central Valley and thousands of children.

“Whatever we raise here, we want to give all the kids in our program – at least a $5 gift card for the holidays – 100 percent of it will go back to the kiddos,” Phakonekham said.

Phakonekham and her team got into the spirit of the event and wore costumes as well.

At the end of the race, there were prizes for the best costume. The first-place winner was dressed as Supergirl; the second dressed as Superman; and third was dressed as Superwoman with her furry sidekick, Dixie the Batdog.

Two Batdogs were there, Howie and Dixie.

Dixie ran the 5K with her supermom, Samantha Larmer.

The participants had the option to run or walk. As they crossed the finish line, they were given water and offered fresh fruit provided by Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Other costumes at the event included Deadpool, Mario, Batman, Clark Kent and Wonderwoman.

The run began at the South Gym at 8:05 a.m., and the last of the participants finished at approximately 9:30 a.m.