CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The University of Virginia is a school of tradition and on the last home football game every year, there are two opposing traditions: the "fourth-year fifth" and the "fourth-year 5K."

In 1997, fourth-year student Leslie Baltz died due to a high-risk drinking accident. She was participating in an odd UVA tradition called the "fourth-year fifth," in which seniors try to drink a fifth of liquor before kickoff.

Since then, the university has tried to reduce the popularity of this ritual. One of the actions taken was starting a 5K on the same day in Baltz's memory. Now 30 years later, the race has turned into a tradition of its own.

"Fourth-year 5K is more than just a deterrent for that. It's all about community and just support and again just bystander intervention, being there for one another," said fourth-year student Carolyn Brown-Kiser. 

Hosted by UVA peer health educators, the race promotes healthy behaviors and mental health for everyone.

"We're bringing the community together, we're empowering everyone, [and] really promoting bystander intervention and safer strategies when it comes to general living," explained Mahdin Hossain, a third-year peer health educator.

The message isn't to get students to stop drinking but to be there for one another and know when it's time to step in.

"We all go to the same school where we care about one another and want to see each other thrive and stepping in when you see something or just asking a friend if they're ok. It's a small act but it's so important," Brown-Kiser said.

They're changing the attitude toward binge drinking.

"The fourth-year fifth isn't something that's entirely cool or necessary," said Murriam and Hamayal, who are just two of the many fourth years who've opted out of the drinking tradition for the 5K.

All the money raised from the 5K goes to the Leslie Baltz Foundation and the UVA Department of Student Health and Wellness.