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Vol. LXVII, No. 21
October 9, 2015
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‘Run from Obesity’ Wins Institute Relay for Second Straight Year

First Place: NIDDK’s “Run from Obesity” includes (from l) Dr. Michael Krashes, Dr. Jesse Carlin, Courtney Duckworth, Sebastian Zahler and Dr. Ramón Piñol.

First Place: NIDDK’s “Run from Obesity” includes (from l) Dr. Michael Krashes, Dr. Jesse Carlin, Courtney Duckworth, Sebastian Zahler and Dr. Ramón Piñol.

Photos: Daniel Soñé

Dr. Jesse Carlin was shocked. A day before the 32nd NIH Institute Relay, one of the runners on her 5-member relay team, NIDDK’s “Run from Obesity,” dropped out of the race. For good reason, it turned out: the runner had appendicitis. Carlin scrambled to find another runner.

Despite the last-minute substitution, “Run from Obesity” won the relay for the second year in a row. They finished the Sept. 15 race in 13:23—10 seconds faster than their time last year. Once again, the team name will be engraved on the Allen Lewis NIH Memorial Trophy in the Bldg. 31 Fitness Center. NEI’s “Wurtz Possible Runners” finished second at 13:25 and NIA Baltimore’s “Intermittently Fast” came in third at 13:38.

This year, a relay record 107 teams ran in two heats on a picture-perfect day. Just as in years past, many teams had creative nicknames. “I cannot tell A-fib,” “Cell my soul,” and “Paindemonium” are just a few.

Second Place: NEI’s “Wurtz Possible Runners” include (from l) Whitney Griggs, Kazutaka Maeda, Frances Loeb, Elisabeth Tawa and Fabrice Arcizet.
Second Place: NEI’s “Wurtz Possible Runners” include (from l) Whitney Griggs, Kazutaka Maeda, Frances Loeb, Elisabeth Tawa and Fabrice Arcizet.

“We’re happy to have seen a record number of teams run the race,” said the NIH Recreation and Welfare Association’s David Browne. “It’s really nice to see so many NIH’ers come out and enjoy themselves. The relay is a great way to get some exercise in and have fun doing it.”

Melanie Rys (l) receives the baton from
Melanie Rys (l) receives the baton from Karen Keeran of NHLBI’s “I cannot tell A-fib.”
Second Place: NEI’s “Wurtz Possible Runners” include (from l) Whitney Griggs, Kazutaka Maeda, Frances Loeb, Elisabeth Tawa and Fabrice Arcizet.
Lulu Hefferon, 3, cheers for her father Tim Hefferon of NCBI’s “Paper Tigers.”

Top 10 Finishers
Run from Obesity 13:23
Wurtz Possible Runners 13:25
Intermittently Fast 13:38
THE FAB FIVE 14:05
Proud Snail Hunters 15:06
Hey Ho, Let’s Go 15:10
NITAAC’s Need for Speed 15:31
Say What? 15:35
NINDigenouS People 15:39
5’RACE 15:44

Before the first heat, former R&W president and relay organizer Randy Schools explained the rules. The first four runners must complete a loop around Bldg. 1 then hand off a baton to the last runner in an exchange area near the starting line. The final 44runner on each team must run the loop and then turn right at a chute to the finish line on the Bldg. 1 driveway. He cautioned runners to be on the lookout for cars. Then, NCI’s Dr. Harold Seifried played a “call to the post” on the trumpet.

Next, NIH director Dr. Francis Collins spoke to the crowd. He said he would like to have run, but he wasn’t dressed for the occasion (he wore a suit and tie). He reminded runners, “The goal is to have fun and don’t get hurt.” With that, he blew the starting whistle. Coworkers and friends cheered on the runners as they crossed the starting line.

Winning the relay once is hard. Winning twice in a row is harder. To prepare for the challenge, Carlin and her team practiced handing off the baton to each other so they wouldn’t lose any time in the exchange zone. She said they even trained underwater to slow their natural movement when they handed the baton off. She added that, fortunately, the coworker who missed the race because of appendicitis will be fine.

Browne said the relay couldn’t happen without the support of more than 60 volunteers who helped staff the event, the relay captains who made the effort to recruit runners and the vendors. He appreciates Collins taking time out of his schedule to address the runners before the race and hopes to see everyone again next year.

The relay was hosted by R&W, members of the original NIH Health’s Angels running club and the Office of Research Services’ Division of Amenities and Transportation Services.




 


Gallery

NIH director Dr. Francis Collins crouches and blows the whistle starting heat 1 of the 32nd NIH Institute Relay.
Indira Rao of NIAID’s “Virus on the Run” took seriously Collins’ advice to have fun.
Former R&W President Randy Schools helps color in the starting line with chalk before the start of the relay.
NIDDK’s Dr. Jesse Carlin was the first runner to cross the finish line.
NIA Baltimore’s “Intermittently Fast” finished third, and features (from l) Erez Eitan, Ryan Spangler, coach Mark Mattson, Lisa Russell, Josh Halpern and Krisztina Marosi.

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