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For the first time in years, students will not be able to hold the traditional running man game due to the Belton police forbidding the activity from continuing.
Running man was the ultimate competition of speed, stealth and wit on campus.
Students donned dark clothing and after congregating at the softball and baseball parking lot, sprint across campus trying to make their way to the Meyer Christian Studies Building without being spotted by drivers who patrol the roads looking for runners.
As can be guessed, there have been some problems with the logistics of running man.
Students often got lost or ended up in the back yards of Belton residents.
On one such occasion, two years ago, I was a freshman enjoying the thrill of a game of running man, when I discovered that I, along with a large group of other runners, were lost on what may or may not have been campus property.
Students fell into poison ivy and others fell into one of the creeks we crossed before we eventually made our way back onto campus.
Without proper guidelines and familiarity of the area, students can wander off and maybe end up having to jump the fences of Belton residents.
This is where the real problem occurs.
If a local resident sees two or three people dressed in black slinking around their backyard, that person may call the police or even get out a shotgun, and who could blame them? After all, clichés like “We don’t dial 911” and “Shoot first. Ask questions later” are considered proverbs by many Texans.
Because of this potential for catastrophe, running man will no longer be a part the UMHB tradition, but question to ask is why now?
Could it be possible to change the criteria boundaries of the game in order to make it better? It has been an ongoing ritual for years, but the event has just now been stopped.
The growth of the university is likely a reason. More students coming to campus means more students participating in running man, which theoretically leads to more lost students stumbling through someone’s back yard.
Another con of running man happens to be when a runner is spotted by a truck.
To signify that a player is out of the game, the caught person climbs into the back of the truck and spends the rest of the game looking for others still sneaking toward Meyer.
Obviously, this leads to a large number of students squeezing into the back of a truck, a hazardous situation.
Anyone with Crusader spirit is sad to see one of the students’ favorite traditions fade away, but it is an undeniable fact that running man had its shortcomings, which could make it troublesome