The Run Nerds Run! 5K held recently at the University of New Mexico attracted 77 runners while raising funds for student scholarships for the Visionaries of Infinite Potential (VIP) endowment. Once endowed, the scholarships will provide tuition assistance to a full-time School of Engineering student with high academic merit and financial need.
As of Aug. 31, the endowment had a total of $4,661. UNM Engineering alumni Jake Hollowell, Daniel Garcia, Brian Hesch, and Noel King initially created the endowment, and they organized the run.
The fund-raising goal is to raise $25,000 by October 2015, and the returns will generate scholarships each year.
At the event, prizes were given for fastest male and female runners, and coolest nerd outfit.
First place for fastest male runner was Gabriel Hesch, Albuquerque, at 18:39. Fastest female runner was Megan Jarmosevich, Albuquerque, at 24:27. Placing second and third in the male runner category were Gabriel Ortiz, 19:30, and Matthew Adams, 22:30, both of Albuquerque. Second- and third-place female runners were Alyssa Specht, Albuquerque, and Sarah Parks, Bellingham, Mass., 25:33.
Winning the award for coolest nerd outfit was Caleb Torres of Los Lunas, N.M.
Specht, who was decked out in nerd gear along with her sister, Teressa Specht, said she participated in the race not only because she enjoys running, but also because she believes in the cause.
“It benefits scholarships, so it’s a good cause,” said Alyssa, a UNM master’s student in public administration. Teressa, a UNM master’s student in electrical engineering, agreed.“I always wanted to give back, and this is a good way to do that,” she said.
While some who participated in the run had direct ties to UNM, others came simply for the opportunity to help students.
Shellie Eaton, an environmental engineer in Los Alamos, attended University of California, Riverside, but jumped at the chance to contribute to a student-focused event.
“I came to support the engineering scholarship,” she said. “I’m all for keeping students in engineering. We don’t have enough engineers.”
Those interested in donating to the endowment can do so online.