“Storm the Stadium honors our veterans and active-duty military members and their families while also providing a fun, healthy, family-focused event,” says Laura Carlson, vice president and associate provost.
Not a typical running race, Storm the Stadium features a long stair climb course of 3,418 steps, a 1,640-step short course and a third-of-a-mile flat walking course. New features will include two timed heats for both the long and short courses and opening the climb to participants ages 14 and older.
Stephanie Tatay-Myers, associate web director for marketing communications, took part in 2018 with her stepmother. “It was fun to do something other than a running race and challenge myself, and running the stairs at Notre Dame stadium is a cool experience,” she shares.
David B. Go, the Rooney Family Associate Professor of Engineering, agrees, calling Storm the Stadium “the right balance of challenging and fun.”
Go, who will participate this time with coworkers, recalls, “The course was more difficult than I anticipated, but I also felt that completing it was a real accomplishment.”
Dee Gipson agrees. The recruitment strategies program director for graduate programs has run a lot of races—road and trail—but nothing compares to Storm the Stadium.
“The photo on my fitness app shows just how unique the race is for a runner,” Gipson says. “Plus, as an ND football fan, it is invigorating to run the stadium, gather on the field before and after the event, and know that the purpose is in honor of those who serve our country.”
All three runners are happy the event was moved to spring.
“The weather certainly has the opportunity to be more bearable in April,” says Go.
Hosting the event during the academic year will surely boost student participation, and maybe that of those faculty and staff who aren’t on campus during the summer.
“Last year, 1,408 people took part. Because of the timing this year, we expect to far exceed that figure,” says Regan Jones, director of military and veterans affairs. “We encourage faculty and staff to participate as walkers, runners and/or climbers or to serve as event volunteers. It’s a great opportunity for team building.”
Jones, a Marine veteran and Purple Heart recipient, notes that taking part in Storm the Stadium can also be a way to honor a veteran or military service personnel.
Bobbie Anderson, accounts payable assistant, climbed the stairs last year in memory of her dad. “He was in the Air Force for 20 years and passed away several years ago,” she says. “I am very proud of our veterans and their service. I support them like I was one of them.”
Anderson will climb with coworkers again this year.
You can also count on Richard Sheehan, professor of finance in the Mendoza College of Business, and his wife. “I participated in the first and I expect to participate in each one as long as I can put one foot in front of the other,” he says.
Maureen Dawson, assistant dean in Arts and Letters, plans to be there with her husband, just like last year. “It was a challenge to climb and climb and climb, but we had a lot of fun.”
If you plan to take on the stadium’s stairs, do yourself a favor and train, says Gipson. “I use the RecSports’ Arc Trainer in Duncan Student Center and do some additional training for my calves as they were talking to me by the end of the event.”
Long- and short-course climbers will receive a medal upon completion of the course, and all participants will receive an event shirt and free concessions. The cost to participate is $40 for climbers, $25 for walkers and $5 each for those wishing to access only the on-field family fun zone.
For more details about Storm the Stadium or to register, visit stormthestadium.nd.edu. Anyone interested in forming a team with co-workers to run, walk or volunteer, email Lacey Peters, the event’s director, at email@example.com to coordinate the details.
Sue Ryan in Media Relations contributed to this article.