Westerville News & Public Opinion

5K to 'Beethoven's Fifth'

Symphony to raise funds with 'Beethoven 5K'

By

When some runners hit the road, they hear the Rocky theme playing in their heads.

Others hear Eye of the Tiger.

Runners in the Westerville Symphony's upcoming 5K will hear something very different: Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.

The Beethoven 5K will begin at 8 a.m. Aug. 11 at Alum Creek Park North, 221 W. Main St.

A recording of the symphony will be broadcast at the starting line, and Westerville Kiwanis Club volunteers will have stations playing the symphony every quarter mile along the race route, which will travel north to the Westerville Sports Complex, east on County Line Road and south on West Street to finish at the Otterbein University stadium.

Those who finish the race route before the end of the 32-minute symphony will earn a free ticket to any Westerville Symphony Masterworks performance during the 2012-13 season.

The Beethoven 5K was sparked by an idea that came to symphony vice president of development Will Kopp, who is a runner.

"I was just out running, and I listen to music sometimes when I'm running, and I'm a big classical music fan and a Beethoven fan," Kopp said. "At a lot of races, they play music at various stops, but it's usually rock music. I thought, 'Wow, wouldn't it be great to listen to Beethoven during a race?' and I thought 5K, Fifth Symphony, and it's about 32 minutes (long)."

Kopp's idea for the 5K meshed well with another idea he had: to create a scholarship for Westerville students planning to study music at Otterbein University.

"The symphony has never had a scholarship program before," Kopp said. "The symphony does a lot with education, but I thought, with the high schools, we need to have something. We do a lot with middle school, grade school students. ... The money wasn't there. The idea with the race was just the perfect tie-in."

After getting approval from the symphony board, Kopp began to secure sponsors -- OhioHealth has signed on as the event's main sponsor -- planning the route, recruiting volunteers and securing the necessary support from the city to stage the 5K.

Money raised through the race will benefit the newly created scholarship, which the symphony hopes to award for the first time this fall, Kopp said.

Kopp said he hopes the novelty of racing to Beethoven's most popular symphony will attract a lot of runners to the race.

"This is our first year, so 300 runners would be nice. I'd love to double that, though," Kopp said. "I hope to get as many people as possible on that course."

Those interested in running the race can register in advance at premierraces.com. Race-day registration will begin at 7 a.m. at Alum Creek Park. The cost to register is $25.

More information on the race is on the symphony's website: westervillesymphony.org.

Comments