International Appalachian’s annual Coffee Buzz 5K goes global

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Paola Bula Blanco

Gerard Ramos blows the starting whistle at INTAPP’s Coffee Buzz 5K in 2019. participants b 5K. The organization raises money for students to be able to study abroad.

Hollie Moore, Reporter

From Boone to Brazil, App State students and people around the globe are running for a cause through the International Appalachian’s annual Coffee Buzz 5K. 

INTAPP, a student-run organization intended to encourage App State students to study abroad, will hold its ninth annual Coffee Buzz 5K between April 4 and 18 for the App State community “anywhere in the world (they) are located.” 

App State student and former INTAPP member Landon Hill passed away in the fall of 2011 after contracting bacterial meningitis while studying abroad in Spain. His memory holds strong in the INTAPP organization through the Coffee Buzz 5K, combining his two favorite things: coffee and running. 

In a normal year without COVID-19, INTAPP would include a coffee cup in the logo for the event and serve coffee after the race, along with water, bananas, and pastries. This year, the event will take on a virtual format, so coffee will only be incorporated into the logo, said Karen Marshall, INTAPP adviser.

“The turnout has been good, it’s not a huge crowd but there are still a couple people on campus who knew Landon,” said Ginger Hill, Landon Hill’s mother. “The run is definitely keeping his memory alive. We are very honored and pleased that INTAPP has continued this.”

Participants are asked to donate a minimum of $10 to the Landon Hill Memorial Scholarship to enter the 5K. INTAPP partners with the Office of International Education and Development to offer this scholarship to students who are interested in studying abroad and demonstrate a financial need.

“This is our main annual spring event, the goal is to raise money for the scholarship to help students study abroad,” said Scott Spickard, the INTAPP outreach chair.

Registration has ended for the event. Once entered, participants can complete the race between April 4 and 18. The event’s new virtual format has opened a new opportunity for INTAPP and would-be participants outside of Boone, Marshall explains.

“Right now we have two people registered who are in Germany and one is in Brazil. It’s INTAPP people spread out around the world,” said Marshall. “The great thing about doing this virtually is that it has allowed us to realize we can incorporate the alumni.”

Marshall said that in the past, the Coffee Buzz 5K has brought in a pretty steady crowd, between 60 and 80 participants. With the 5K now virtual, INTAPP is depending on social media and the #IRunWithLandon hashtag to spread the word.

“We really want people to register and raise as much money as we can for students to go abroad soon, they could be abroad this fall,” Spickard said.