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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Big Blue 5K, Concert, Football Game and Charity Bowl Highlight a Big Saturday at ODU

By Phil Walzer

You can run or walk across the 50-yard line at Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium on Saturday, and you don't have to be a member of Old Dominion's football team.

That's the finish line for the fifth annual Big Blue 5K and 1K, which benefits the Old Dominion Athletic Foundation. The morning event will be followed by a free concert by country singer Joe Nichols, the spring football game and the 50th annual Priority Toyota Charity Bowl.

The 1K race or walk will begin at the stadium at 10 a.m. Saturday and the 5K at 10:30. To register or for more information, go to www.bigblue5k.com

The Big Blue 5K is put on by J&A Racing, co-owned by Amy Frostick and her husband, Jerry. She has two degrees from Old Dominion - a bachelor's in management and an M.B.A. - and is a member of the Old Dominion Athletic Foundation board.

J&A runs several other local events, including the Shamrock Marathon. But the Big Blue 5K "has the most exciting finish of all of our races, the 50-yard line," Frostick said. "It's usually lined by ODU cheerleaders, and Big Blue is out there to give high fives."

Football Coach Bobby Wilder will serve as the "starter" for the race. More than 2,500 participants are expected.

"It's been a huge success, thanks to Amy, and it's now one of the best events we do in the spring," said Drew Turner, associate athletic director of the athletic foundation. "The whole operation is just first-class."

The party after the Big Blue 5K will include free burritos from Moe's Southwest Grill for all race participants.

The Frosticks like to introduce twists to their races. The Shamrock this year featured a four-person relay option for the first time. The Big Blue 5K also has a new feature: Entrants in the Pump and Run division can shave time from their results if they complete a series of bench presses from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday at the Jim Jarrett Athletic Administration Building.

Participants in all of the events can pick up their race packets 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday at the Bud Metheny Baseball Complex. They will receive free admission to the baseball game that evening against UAB. They also can get their packets 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday at the stadium.

The fun will continue Saturday afternoon after the race and walk:

Country singer Joe Nichols, who sang the No. 1 song "Brokenheartsville," will perform a free concert at Foreman Field starting at 12:30.

The football team's spring game, in which Monarchs play against each other to show off their preseason skills, will begin at 3. Seating is available on the east side of the stadium.

After the game, players will sign autographs and football merchandise, including a new line celebrating football's 10th anniversary, will be on sale.

The baseball team will play UAB at 4.

The 50th annual Priority Toyota Charity Bowl will begin at 4:30. The flag football game between former and current NFL players and local celebrities last year raised more than $400,000, which was donated to local children's charities.

Parking will be free at the garages on 43rd Street and Hampton Boulevard and 43rd Street and Elkhorn Avenue.

To read more about Amy Frostick, go to Old Dominion's e-magazine, Monarch Extra, at www.odu.edu/monarchmag

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