Register and train now for Storm the Stadium, April 25

Author: Megan Leis

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It is nearly time to lace up your running shoes for the third annual Storm the Stadium, which will take place at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 25. The stair-climbing challenge is hosted by the Office of Military and Veterans Affairs and benefits the University’s military-connected students.

“Storm the Stadium honors the men and women who bravely served, and continue to serve, in the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. The event is also an opportunity to participate in a fun, health-focused event as a family,” says Laura Carlson, vice president and associate provost.

Not a typical running race, Storm the Stadium features a long stair-climb course of 3,185 steps, a 1,579-step short course and a 0.65-mile loop walking course. Erin Corcoran, executive director of the Kroc Institute of International Peace Studies and concurrent faculty at the Keough School of Global Affairs, took part in 2019 with her husband. “The atmosphere was fun. The event was very well organized — lots of great energy. My husband, Cory, and I really enjoyed the event. It was fun and challenging,” she shares.

Last year, more than 2,000 people took part. “There is something for everyone, and all are welcome,” says Regan Jones, director of military and veterans affairs. “Whether you’re looking to support our military men and women, get a great workout, see Notre Dame Stadium in a whole new light or all of the above, Storm the Stadium is for you.”

Jones, a Marine veteran and Purple Heart recipient, notes that taking part in Storm the Stadium can also be a way to honor a veteran or military service personnel. Corcoran chose to climb in honor of her sister, who currently serves as a colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Bernard Akatu, senior equity specialist and human resources projects, climbed the long course in 2019 and plans to climb again this year. “The great thing about this event is that it allows an average person like me to make a meaningful contribution to supporting those that have chosen to serve our country. I also have to say the event might be addictive — I look forward to coming back every year to complete the course.”

If you plan to take on the stadium’s stairs, do yourself a favor and train. Rec-Sports’ Arc Trainer in Duncan Student Center is an outstanding training tool. Fleet Feet Mishawaka will sponsor an eight-week training program beginning Sunday, Feb. 23. The program is designed for racers of all abilities. Fleet Feet coaches will prepare you physically and mentally for the challenges of a stair step race.

Long- and short-course climbers as well as concourse walkers will receive a medal upon completion of the course, and all participants will receive an event shirt and free concessions. The cost to participate is $40 for climbers, $40 for walkers and $5 each for those wishing to access only the on-field family fun zone. For more details about Storm the Stadium or to register, visit Anyone interested in forming a team with co-workers to run, walk or volunteer should email Megan Leis, assistant director of military and veterans affairs, at to coordinate the details.

This article originally appeared on March 2, 2020 on ND Works Weekly.