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More have the opportunity to join them today.
The University Clocktower Race will be held at noon as part of Orientation Week festivities.
Last year was a comeback for the race — now run by the Hill City-University athletics club — which had been held annually through the 1990s and 2000s.
The event, inspired by film Chariots of Fire, gives students 53.50sec to run around the tower — about 370m — to beat the clock’s final chime.
Cameron Miller won last year’s race in 48.66sec and Jake Paul also beat the chimes.
Organiser Jared Monk said the event promised to be bigger and better this year.
It had been better promoted this time around and more sponsors had joined.
There would be a $200 prize for the first man and first woman, and other vouchers and prizes were available.
Registration is on the day, but Monk is hoping for a strong field, having promoted it around the colleges and athletics community.
He said it was a good way to keep athletes involved in the sport, rather than quitting once they came to study.
"People drop off, the pressure’s not there any more. They’ve got to do it out of their own interest.
"Sometimes they get to Dunedin and their focus is on study and the Speight’s gold medal ale.
"Things like athletics aren’t on the forefront.
"The rugby clubs do a really good job of approaching the students and getting their stuff out there.
"I think we just need to do the same.
"This is our way of that first week back saying ‘there’s an athletics club here, did you run? Were you fast? Did you enjoy it?’’’
He had also looked at initiatives such as creating maps showing good running locations around Dunedin.
For other events they would look to put students in contact with the right people to remain involved.
The race was also a good way to keep the University involved, as that had fallen off at times since the Hill City-University amalgamation.