April 23, 2010
Elizabeth Blevins, Director, Office of Communications
Office: (740) 351-3810; FAX: (740) 351-3179; Cell: (740) 464-4854
940 Second Street – Portsmouth, Ohio 45662
Web site: www.shawnee.edu
Shawnee State University’s Bear Run Founder to Participate
in the 30th Bear Run
Fifteen years ago Larry Mangus, then Vice President of
Student Affairs at Shawnee State University, had an idea.
While he admits it wasn’t a new one, thousands of people
agree it was a good one.
“I’ve been a runner
all of my life,” Mangus explained. “In 1995, I was new to
Shawnee State. I had been involved in coordinating races
over the years, and suggested a 5K run as a way to help us
establish traditions. That’s how the Bear Run was born.”
University has held two Bear Runs, one in the spring and one
in the fall, every year since. This Thursday, April 22, the
30th Bear Run will be held, and just as with the first,
Mangus will be present. As the event’s founding father, he
says he wouldn’t miss participating in this special SSU
anniversary and is traveling from his home in Mississippi to
officially start the race.
“The SSU Bear Run
has grown into an incredible community event,” Mangus said.
“It has become a tradition, not only for Shawnee State, but
for the area schools and the entire community. There are
runners who have earned medals in all 29 Bear Runs, and I’m
looking forward to seeing them compete in the 30th run.”
Mangus says that he
has been thrilled with the growth of the Bear Run, but he
can’t say that he’s surprised.
“I knew it would be
successful,” he said. “That first year, we had about 300
runners and probably 50 volunteers from the campus
community. I knew that as we got more schools involved and
word got out about it, we would really have a race that
would be unrivaled. Now, about 1,200 runners participate in
the fall, and about 1,000 or so in the spring. It’s been a
good event for runners, a good event for the community, and
a good event for Shawnee State. Over the years, we recruited
lots of runners through the Bear Run. As a matter of fact, I
believe our first All-American Cross Country runner came to
us through the Bear Run.”
Mangus retired from
Shawnee State University in 2007. As a retirement gift, he
says that his staff gave him a quilt made out of the first
22 Bear Run T-shirts. He says he considers the quilt one of
his most prized possessions.
“It’s on display in
my home,” he said. “It feels good to have been a part of
something like this. It’s a legacy that I’m proud of. More
than the run, though, I’m proud of what the students and
staff have done. So many people have contributed to the Bear
A former Cross
Country coach, Mangus stays involved in athletics,
volunteering with the high school in the Corinth,
Mississippi, area – helping to lead them to a recent state
championship. He also gives two to three presentations a
week to area schools about Civil War History.
The Spring Bear Run
will be held Thursday, April 22, beginning at 6 p.m.
Registrations can be made through the SSU Athletics webpage