At approximately 7:30 AM this past Saturday, Columbia students trotted to Low steps to the weekly 5K walk of shame. Participants from all walks of life came out this week, in what has become one of Columbia’s most storied and long-standing traditions. While participants tend to be predominantly female, more and more males have begun racing as well, in an effort to prove that men are more than capable of trudging through campus with their heads held low after a long night of “gender studies”.
The event has become so popular, that some people will wake up from their own beds on time just to be a part of the action. We caught up with your weird professor who walks their kids at 7:30 AM, who said “I was on a walk with my two kids, when all of a sudden a swarm of groggy, sweatpants-wearing students stormed down Low Steps. All the commotion was so stimulating, I could not help but become a part of it.”
In fact, the annual 5K sponsored by Prezbo was actually inspired by his love for the weekly 5K Walk of Shame. “I just want everyone to know that if I can do it, so can they!” said the Columbia president. He has also famously coined the term “No shame in having shame”, which he frequently refers back to when asked about the school’s stance on fossil fuels.
Not everyone feels as positively about the walk. Some participants believe they should be regarded as student-athletes, due to the consistency of races, early wakeup times, and amount of Columbia apparel they own that they did not buy. The counter argument, of course, is that making the 5K a Columbia sport would automatically decrease its popularity, viewership, and legitimacy.
While the walk can be a bit overwhelming at first, most runners pick up on some key insights fairly quickly. “I have only raced a couple of times so far, but I definitely have a strategy,” said one sophomore. “Always start the walk with stairs, not the elevator. It’s a great warm up, and fewer opportunities for human encounters. Oh, and starting the race at Carman is a no-no. A dorm full of freshman doubles; I mean, are you kidding me?”
The route of the walk, while not always the same, usually starts at East Campus, makes its way past Ruggles, picks up some extra runners at Carman, then gathers its final participants by McBain. The 5K Walk of Shame finally culminates every week back at Barnard.