Hundreds turn out for fund raising fun run
By Peter Pollack
The sun was just peering over the skyscrapers, giving them a golden glow, when a capacity crowd of 300 runners showed up to take part in the AAOS 2007 Annual Meeting Sunrise Run early Friday morning. The race ran 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) along the embarcadero behind the Convention Center at the edge of San Diego Bay.
Each runner contributed $25 to support the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF). In return, each received a T-shirt and a photo of themselves crossing the finish line.
Awards were given to the top male and female finishers overall, as well as to age group winners. To spread the fun among the most possible runners, overall winners in the gender-based divisions were dropped from competing in their age divisions.
Matthew Halsey, MD, a 2005 AAOS fellow, won the male division with an overall best time of 17 minutes, 48 seconds. Tiffany Mountz took the female division with a time of 20 minutes, 57 seconds.
The winners of the female age group divisions were L. Shah (29 and under); Tracy Rupke, MD (30 to 39); Esther Schaftel (40 to 49); Paula McAndrew (50 to 59); Karen Scanlon (60 to 69); and Dodie Filler (70 and over).
The winners of the male age group divisions were Otis Fugelso (29 and under); Shaun Peterson, MD (30 to 39); Eric D. Hoffman, MD (40 to 49); Mark McGuire (50 to 59); William P. Cooney III, MD (60 to 69); and Blair C. Filler, MD (70 and over).
Helping the OREF is a worthy cause, yet it took a special kind of ethic to get out of bed for a 6 a.m. start time and a brisk run along the shore, even in a city as beautiful as San Diego. In no one was that ethic exemplified to a greater degree than by Maj. David Rozelle, of the U.S. Army, who ran the race on a prosthetic foot. Maj. Rozelle was injured in Iraq on June 21, 2003, and came to the Annual Meeting to give a talk about his experiences and the spirit of his fellow military personnel, including the other injured veterans who showed up for the run.
“It’s a great honor to be here,” he said. “We’ve got a group of about six [amputees] here today; a couple ran, a couple walked, and a couple cheered. You know, these guys have a really great spirit and there’s not a quitter among them, and I’m really proud to represent them every time.”
Maj. Rozelle has remained active, competing in two Iron Man competitions and running several marathons since his injury, but he chose the Sunrise Run to debut his new leg, after receiving a below-the-knee revision on Nov. 30, 2006. He credited his orthopaedic surgeon, Donald A. Gajewski, MD, of Walter Reed Medical Center with the excellent job that resulted in him being able to take part in the Sunrise Run. “This is the first time I’ve run since my amputation,” he said. “I’m really excited about my new leg.”
In the end, anyone who showed up to compete in the Sunrise Run felt the event was worth taking time out of their busy week. They raised more than $7,000 for the OREF, and the unity and spirit of a morning run through a great city made them all feel like winners.