It was a very special 40th anniversary of the Spalding University event, The Running of the Rodents.

Forty years ago a student complained that she was tired from the “rat race” of final exams. Julia Clare Fontaine, SCN, a science teacher at Spalding at the time, heard this and decided to create a stress reliever for the students — a rat race.

In preparing the rodents for the race, students learn about behavior modification techniques. Teams train a month before race day.

The event has grown in 40 years and now begins with a parade routed down Forth Street, a king and queen are crowned, and ends with the main event, a derby style race around a specially made race track.

This year was extra special because Sister Julia was on hand for the event and served as the grand marshal for the parade.

SCNs Margaret Rodericks and Julia Clare Fontaine