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Vol. LXIII, No. 21
October 14, 2011
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Relay Race: All Who Came Were Winners

On the front page...

Dr. Kenna Shaw, deputy director of The Cancer Genome Atlas Program Office, NCI, dressed in gold to amuse and inspire her teammates.
Dr. Kenna Shaw, deputy director of The Cancer Genome Atlas Program Office, NCI, dressed in gold to amuse and inspire her teammates.
The 28th running of the NIH Institute Relay on Sept. 22 served once again as an unofficial referendum on campus creativity and energy. As in years past, the event earned an A grade, partly because by now the participants and the people in charge have got the race down to, well, a science.

There was R&W President Randy Schools with the bullhorn in front of Bldg. 1, urging participants to have safe ½-mile circuits around Bldgs. 1, 2 and 3. Near him was Lt. Udon Cheek of the NIH Police, who since 2000 has provided un-authoritarian authority, principally by keeping people out of the way of traffic via walkie-talkie chats with his fellow officers stationed around the race course.

The godparents of campus fitness—Jerry Moore and Dr. Alison Wichman, who were long-time members of the NIH Health’s Angels Running Club—headed up a cadre of some two dozen volunteers and represented an era when campus runners were fond of—wink, wink—L.S.D., or long slow distances.








Continued...

Missing this year from his usual post at the finish line was FDA’s Dr. Phil Snoy, who died on Aug. 15 and in whose memory the 2011 race was conducted. Just as Schools asked the assembled runners to pause for a moment of silence, two large trucks rumbled past, drowning out his remarks. Schools saw Snoy in the happenstance: “Phil would be out here cracking jokes,” he said.

NIH director Dr. Francis Collins poses with The Cbl Shepherds from Bldg. 37’s Laboratory of Cellular & Molecular Biology (LCMB)

NIH director Dr. Francis Collins poses with The Cbl Shepherds from Bldg. 37’s Laboratory of Cellular & Molecular Biology (LCMB). Cbl, pronounced like the actress they represent “Cybill,” is an enzyme studied in LCMB that regulates growth factor receptors and T-cell activation. LCMB entered 3 teams this year, including We Ran Dishevelled and Chemotaxis. “Our teams represent 8 different labs, so it really brings us all together and many from the labs show up to cheer us on,” said Dr. Stephen Kales. The Cbl Shepherds are (from l) Kales, Nathan Coussens, Ana Rodriguez-Pena, Eilon Sherman and Lakshmi Balagopalan.

Top 10 Finishers  
Catch Me If You Can(cer) 13:05
Run Like the Winded 14:09
Progressive Motility (PR) 14:45
Tract Stars 15:10
Proud Snail Hunters 15:11
LBC: Get Your Func-Con 15:43
“T”he Regulators 15:50
The Yewninks 15:51
Pumped Up Kicks 15:52
FTP: For-the-Pride 16:10
Two of the 103 teams entered in this year’s race honored Snoy in their names and T-shirts: Snoyz Boyz and Phil’s Phlying Monkeys.

NIH director Dr. Francis Collins whistled the start of the event’s first heat, which produced the winner, NCI’s Catch Me If You Can(cer) in a time of 13:05. The second heat, begun by NIH deputy director for intramural research Dr. Michael Gottesman, yielded second- and third-place finishers Run Like the Winded (14:09) and Progressive Motility (PR) (14:45).

Dr. Nigel Crawford donned a Cap’n Crunch outfit as titular head of Cap’n Crunch and the Cereal Killers, an NHGRI team.
Dr. Nigel Crawford donned a Cap’n Crunch outfit as titular head of Cap’n Crunch and the Cereal Killers, an NHGRI team.

The fastest first lap of the race, for men, was 2:13 for Lionel Rauth of LBC: Get Your Func-Con. The blazingest female first-lapper was Andrea Fischione (2:48) of Run Like the Winded.

But it was the care given to costume that, for many participants, won the day. T-shirt art ranged from the collectible (The Sensation Seekers) to the Kinko’s (Gottesman’s Gang simply taped paper labels to the backs of their shirts). Son of a Snitch applied their team name to their calves, using markers. The Cbl Shepherds, in cascading blonde wigs, impersonated eighties TV star Cybill Shepherd. And in another nod to popular culture, Cap’n Crunch (NHGRI’s Dr. Nigel Crawford) showed up to lead his team, The Cereal Killers.

The team HAART and Soles, like many race attendees, documented the event with hand-held devices
The team HAART and Soles, like many race attendees, documented the event with hand-held devices. Here, runners (from l) Dr. Irini Sereti, Tiffany Tanzosh and team captain Catherine Rehm watch a race video. Said Rehm, “The photographer caught us reviewing Tiffany’s finish video.”

The race is perhaps best known for accommodating all ages, shapes and abilities, from the serious competitor in Spandex and Under Armour (said one woman, observing a runner’s jackrabbit start, “She’s runnin’ runnin’) to the casual athlete, who may have been drafted on race day itself. One guy took off from the starting line at least 2 minutes after his heat had begun; several people ran in street clothes.

Though fashion may have taken a beating, no one was injured or fell ill due to the heat and humidity, said Cheek, who confirmed with members of the NIH Fire Department that no calls were run on race day.

The race included the usual raft of creative team names, but one stood out as particularly sweat-stained: Oh si, I see bee. Bee see bee? Bee! Run!!, representing NIAID’s Office of Cyberinfrastructure and Computational Biology, Bioinformatics and Computational Bioscience Branch. Get it?—Rich McManus

Winning team Catch Me If You Can(cer) included (from l) Steven Moore, Paige Miller, Naoko Ishibe, Benjamin Emmanuel and Frank Perna.

Winning team Catch Me If You Can(cer) included (from l) Steven Moore, Paige Miller, Naoko Ishibe, Benjamin Emmanuel and Frank Perna.


Placing second was Run Like the Winded, including (from l) Mario Cedillo, Dimitre Simeonov, Rob Carpenter, Andrea Fischione and Sharon Romano.

Placing second was Run Like the Winded, including (from l) Mario Cedillo, Dimitre Simeonov, Rob Carpenter, Andrea Fischione and Sharon Romano.


Third place finisher was Progressive Motility (PR), consisting of (from l) Neil Perkins, Katherine Bowers, Anna Pollack, Amanda Filiberto and Alex McLain.

Third place finisher was Progressive Motility (PR), consisting of (from l) Neil Perkins, Katherine Bowers, Anna Pollack, Amanda Filiberto and Alex McLain.

Photos: Ernie Branson

 


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