42nd Running of the Rodents: Apr. 10

OT student, Mary Alice Lawson, trains the SUSOTA team rat, Winnie Dunn.

OT student, Mary Alice Lawson, trains the SUSOTA team rat, Winnie Dunn.

On April 10, Spalding University hosts its 42nd Annual Running of the Rodents themed, “The Race to Oz,” a tribute to The Wizard of Oz. Trained rodents will compete for the coveted garland of fruit-flavored cereal-o’s as they speed around a miniature racetrack—.024 furlongs in length—created by Spalding alumna and former Rat Queen Madonna Wilson. Local news personality Dawn Gee of WAVE 3 will emcee the races.

April 10, 2014

Rat Parade at 11 a.m.; Rat Races to follow, 11:30 call-to-post.

Rat Parade- New route on Spalding’s campus from Mother Catherine Square, north on Library Lane and west across Spalding Parking Lot A to the University Center Building.

Rat Races- Spalding University Center Building Ballroom a.k.a. “Spalding Downs,” 824 South Fourth Street

“This year’s Wizard of Oz theme was selected by popular vote of the Spalding community,” says freshman Candace Gribs, social work major. “We are excited to incorporate the movie’s messages of courage, intellect, teamwork and perseverance into our oldest tradition.”

A public parade will precede the Running of the Rodents. Parade participants will be dressed Wizard of Oz attire, and in Kentucky Derby tradition, racing fans will wear decorated hats as part of the annual Rat Hat contest.

Lunch (cash-only) will be provided following race day festivities in the University Center Ballroom, 824 South Fourth Street.

Special events taking place earlier during “Rat Week” include:

  • A Rat’s Tale writing contest;
  • Race to Oz scavenger hunt (11:45 – 12:15, April 8, Egan Leadership Center Lectorium); and
  • Fruit rings eating contest (11:45 a.m., April 9, the POD)

The day of the race a King and Queen will be named from the student body, and that evening the Student Government Association will host the Pelican Ball and award the Pelican Cup to the organization who exemplifies service and community involvement.