Taco outfit wins best costume at Cougar Color 5K run

By Mike Roche | Published Oct. 24, 2016

The sun shone on Kean University on Oct. 16 for the 2016 Nathan Weiss Memorial Cougar Color 5K.

Dr. Jeffrey Beck, dean of the Weiss Graduate School, presided over the race and kept everything running smoothly. “It’s going great, we’ve got perfect weather for the run.” said Beck. He spoke about the great turnout and thanked the sponsors of the race.

Attendance was in the hundreds for Kean’s third annual Color Run, a three-mile marathon to benefit of the Nathan Weiss Graduate School. The “color” comes from the plethora of paints that the participants are covered with during the course of the race.

Getting a good lap time was encouraged, but not required. Runners of all ages came out to support Kean, some as young as 10 and even senior citizens. Awards were given afterward, for men and women in different age brackets and best costume.

First place went to Payne Vazquez, a Kean student with a time of 21 minutes and seven seconds. “It was a lot of fun, everyone should come out and do this event.” said Vazquez.

Best costume went to John Alzate, for his taco costume. At the race he was known as “Taco John.”

Several speech majors from the Nathan Weiss Graduate School were clad in bright orange capes that donned the words “Super Speech.” Samantha Turner, a Kean speech said, “This will definitely benefit us, it’s a great thing.”

In previous years, the Cougar Color 5K was able to raise $50,000 after expenses. All proceeds will go to graduate school programs in the health sciences, education and other critical fields. Among the attendants was Bernice Weiss, the widow of Nathan Weiss, who endowed an additional scholarship as a result of the race. Nathan Weiss was the former president of Kean University and began the graduate school in his name.

Keith Nix, whose stage name is Nix in the Mix, provided music and entertainment. He has worked the last two Cougar Color Runs as a DJ and also done open houses and Greek events at Kean.

“It was cool,” said Nix about the race. “It’s for a great cause.”

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