The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

Cupid’s Chase raises thousands for disabled community 

Leah De La Torre
Julius Acosta, first place overall, turns the corner to finish the Cupid’s Chase 5K with a time of 16:15.2. Feb. 10, 2024.

On Feb. 10, over 400 runners took to the streets of Old Mesilla to raise money for people with disabilities.  

The event marked the 16th annual 5K in Las Cruces, part of the Cupid’s Chase national series. The run is hosted by Community Options, Inc., an agency dedicated to serving individuals with disabilities. According to Haleigh Haven, an NMSU graduate student who helped organize the event, not only is the 5K one of the organization’s biggest fundraisers, but it also brings the Las Cruces community closer together.  

“We choose Valentine’s Day because it’s love themed and very inclusive to everyone,” Haven said. “A lot of people think love, they’re like, ‘Oh, I have to be with someone- a couple’. But no, we have so many people that come in, run it by themselves, run it with their dog, run it in memory of somebody. I feel like it’s very exciting and inclusive.” 

Tristan Flores, second place overall, finishes the Cupid’s Chase 5K with a time of 19:42.2. Feb. 10, 2024. (Leah De La Torre)

The community took the holiday theme to heart. Many of the 5K participants wore pink and red gear and Valentine’s themed clothing. There were also shirts reading “Available” and “Unavailable” as a way of connecting people- both those participating in the race, and those who came to support.  

“We need as many people out here doing it as we can because it does benefit a really good cause,” said runner Michael Best. “Even if people don’t want to race, they can still contribute.” 

Between the $45 registration fee and collected donations, this year’s Cupid’s Chase raised over $30,000 for people with disabilities. And, in addition to getting to run and support the community, all event participants were given a medal of completion, a Cupid’s Chase shirt, water and snacks, and were able to view their time after the run.  

“I do think it’s worth it,” said runner Nadia Vega. “A lot of people showed up. The attitude is fun just with that in the race too. There’s a bunch of people just standing on the sidelines taking videos, taking pictures, cheering us on. I think it was definitely worth it. I’m not a runner, these girls aren’t runners, but we would definitely do it again.” 

Many Cupid’s Chase 5K participants bring children in strollers along for the run. Feb. 10, 2024. (Leah De La Torre)

Vega ran the course with three other girls from her rugby team, all of whom are NMSU students. While many different organizations helped put together and take part in Cupid’s Chase, Haven described NMSU and its students’ involvement as “essential”. 

“As an Aggie, a lot of us that go to college at NMSU want to go on and impact the world and make a difference, which is something that I love and why I chose NMSU,” Haven said. “And I feel like this is just a great opportunity to give them those networking opportunities and opportunities to really inspire them to want to move further in their journeys to help other people. So, I think it’s really cool.”

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About the Contributors
Adeline Triplett, Staff Writer
Adeline Triplett is starting her second year with The Round Up. She is a senior at NMSU, majoring in Journalism & Media Studies with a focus in print/editorial and a minor in International Studies. Adeline was raised in Farmington, New Mexico. She has always had a love of writing and reading due to growing up with parents who are teachers. Adeline began writing creatively in elementary school and has continued ever since. She discovered her passion for journalism in high school and hopes to make a positive impact with her stories. Outside of school and writing, Adeline enjoys spending time with friends and family, binging movies and shows, and traveling as much as possible. Moving forward, she hopes that working at The Round Up will help her grow as a writer and in her future career.
Leah De La Torre, Multimedia Specialist
Leah De La Torre is entering her second year at The Round Up as a multimedia specialist. She will be majoring in Journalism and Media Studies. She grew up in El Paso, Texas. De La Torre has been making videos with her family and friends since she was in elementary school, and her love for the camera continued through high school as she became a member of the video and broadcast team. There, not only did she learn more about photography and video making but gained an interest in journalism. Her other interests include playing the cello, sewing, and listening to her favorite music artists like Her’s and The Strokes. Working for The Round Up, she hopes to continue doing what she loves, being behind the camera and contributing to making and telling stories about her community.

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