Event to benefit UTMB School of Health Professions students

UTMBfunrun5K FunD Run Crosses Causeway Bridge – March 8

As the path in and out of Galveston, the causeway looms large in the lives of those who live and work on the island.

In the spring, this route will open to two-legged traffic for the Causeway FunD Run benefitting students attending the School of Health Professions (SHP) at the University of Texas Medical Branch.

Revived in 2013, after a 15 year hiatus, last year’s run/walk drew more than 80 sponsors and donors, plus over 700 participants. Organizers hope to double the numbers in 2014. The FunD Run, in partnership with fitTRIrun, is one of only two events that allow running and walking enthusiasts to negotiate the causeway. Participants are sure to have a unique experience.

The second annual run will start with a kid’s 1K at 7:45 a.m., followed at 8:05 with a 5K wheelchair race. The 5K run begins at 8:15 with the 5K walk immediately following the runners. The 5K course is USA Track and Field certified and starts in the parking lot of the Galveston County Daily News building, then proceeds up the southbound lanes of the causeway turning around at the acme of the bridge where participants will head back to the starting line.

Early registration is now open and runs through Feb. 9. Early registration fees are $10 for the kid’s 1K and $25 for the 5K races/walk. Beginning Feb. 10, late registration fees will be $20 for the kid’s 1K and $40 for the 5K.

Chip timing is available for any participant registering on or before March 7, but will not be available on race day. All early registrants will receive a commemorative t-shirt. Registrations are non-refundable.

The SHP plays a vital role in preparing the health care providers of the future by educating students to become physical therapists, occupational therapists, physician assistants, clinical laboratory scientists, respiratory care therapists and nutritionists.

By donating, sponsoring or participating, supporters help to provide scholarships to the many talented students in the school and represents a powerful investment in the future of health care for our region and state. For the students pursuing these degrees, any financial assistance is appreciated.

Claire Megan Conroy from Houston is working on her doctoral degree in physical therapy. She’s putting herself through school, so the scholarships she’s received have made all the difference to her financial future. “I’m supporting myself and paying for graduate school on my own, using loans,” said Conroy. “These scholarships have helped me not only reduce the amount of loan money that I will have to borrow/pay back, but also the amount of interest that I will incur financing my education.”

Her own diagnosis of type 1 diabetes at 7 years old, coupled with a close family member’s life long struggle with cystic fibrosis, led her to choose health care as her career. “Seeing the way that different health care professionals were able to help and make a difference intrigued and inspired me to do the same.”

“It is a special thrill to run the Galveston Causeway.  Last year we had over 700 runners who took on that steep climb, and were exhilarated by the beautiful views.  Many of us were compelled to stop and take a photo op when we got to the top.  It did not help our times, but it sure was a special Texas experience.” says Dr. Elizabeth Protas, SHP vice president and dean. “We also felt good to be able to raise scholarship money for students in the School of Health Professions.  Please join us for a good time, a good cause, and great views.”

For more information on sponsoring or registering, go to http://shp.utmb.edu/fundrun/ or call the SHP Causeway FunD Run hotline at 409-772-3006.

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