Covered from head to toe in orange and blue paint, Nikko Tan crossed the finish line in 24 minutes Saturday.

After running about 3 miles at the fourth annual Gator Run, Tan grabbed his knees, gasped for air and waited for his fellow runners.

Tan, a UF telecommunication senior, is now able to scratch this tradition from his F Book, a log of traditions for Florida Gators to accomplish before they graduate.

“I chose to run the inaugural year and now,” Tan said. “When you can run in the beautiful UF campus, it’s always worthwhile.”

Forrest Hoffman, a co-chair on the event’s planning board, said more than 1,000 students ran at the event.

He said the Florida Cicerones and the UF Alumni Association, which collaborate to plan the run each year, decided to make the event an official tradition in 2013.

“To me, the Gator Run not only is a philanthropy that strengthens the Gator nation, but it also increases school spirit,” Hoffman said.

Kelley Alimonti, another planning board co-chair, said she couldn’t believe how many students attended the run.

“As a chair, I’ve never had more fun planning an event,” said Alimonti. “Making it and seeing it come to life is what made it meaningful to me.”

She said money raised from the event’s registration fee goes to the alumni association,, which then funds a scholarship for Gators.  

“One of the best things about this event is the fact that students can help fulfill the burdens of future Gators while enjoying the run,” Alimonti said.

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