Head 2 Head: Great Race conjures up adrenaline

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Dixie State University’s best traditions have always included bizarre costumes, Rollerblades and a mud pit. 

This is why The Great Race is DSU’s ultimate tradition.

The Great Race is one of the main features of D-Week, which occurs at the end of spring semester. Approximately 30 teams that involve students, faculty and staff, and community members relay along a difficult obstacle course. According to the Dixie Sun News article “DSU’s Great Race Runs Its Course In Record Fashion,” the April Great Race had a record-breaking 32 teams participate. 

Dixie Today’s article “’ReDefine U’ the Theme for Dixie State’s Annual D-Week Celebration,” recounts the history of The Great Race as an inaugural event taking place during 1971, but versions of the race have been taking place since 1964.

The original race had relays that included tubing down the Virgin River and horseback riding. The article explains that the hazards from the original race caused concern, so the race is now designed to stay around campus. Some of the obstacles the teams encounter include a mud pit, a Dixie trivia question and a slip ‘n’ slide track.

Fun runs and obstacle courses have become popular sporting events over the years, but we’ve known how much fun they are at DSU since the ’60s. The weather is usually perfect the time of year we celebrate D-Week, and students, faculty and staff are ready to blow off some steam from the stress of the semester. 

Even if one doesn’t participate, the event is exhilarating to watch. The Great Race is the perfect event at the perfect time, which is why it is the best. 

Newer annual events, like the Foam Dance, are fun for younger, single students. Those who are married or have a significant other might not feel comfortable going to a dance. The Great Race gives families a chance to participate in a DSU event together.

The camaraderie between participants of the Great Race is another reason it is the ultimate tradition. Teams have themed outfits and a cheer introduced during the opening of the race.  

I have never participated in a race, but the energy that is shared among the team members is contagious to the spectators. The positive vibe continues throughout the race, as team members work together, help each other, and create treasured memories and a bond of trust.

What stood out to me the most as I watched the race were the looks on the participants’ faces after an event was finished. Their faces displayed the rush of adrenaline and the sense of accomplishment.

The best tradition at DSU is The Great Race during D-Week because the students, faculty and staff and community members join together to complete the intense relay race, and in turn, discover lasting friendships and memories. This is what DSU is about.