Team Tommies complete Hood to Coast Relay, 2007

Suzanne Krzmarzick, pictured in the center wearing dark blue shorts,started the race for Team Tommies near the summit of Mount Hood.

Tommies complete Hood to Coast Relay, 2007

Team Tommies to the Coast successfully completed the Nike Hood to Coast Relay 2007 at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, after running the 197-mile course in 27 hours and 13 minutes. The team finished 71st in its division of 292 teams.

This year’s event was the Tommies’ second, with a team composed of some veterans of the 2006 race and several new runners. The team included faculty (Tonia Bock and Phil Anderson), staff (Lisa Burke, Suzanne Krzmarzick, Jesse Langer, Nate Shuff and Dan Gjelten), former staff (Kevin Reardon), alumni (Patty Costello) and friends of UST (Leslie Veenstra, Tim Hansen and Kelsey Shuff).

The Hood to Coast Relay is the largest relay race in North America with 1,000 teams participating from 49 states and many foreign countries. Completing the race successfully requires a team to be disciplined, well-organized and capable of a high level of teamwork as well as physically fit. Planning for the Hood to Coast is nearly a yearlong activity, and the team thanks Phil Anderson for his capable leadership as this year’s team captain.

For Dan Gjelten and Lisa Burke, this year’s race was the culmination of their 2006 participation in the event, which was ended when they were involved in a serious motor vehicle accident two days before the race.

For all the runners, the event was a huge adventure, and they are thankful that this year went so smoothly – that no one got lost or hurt and that the team performed so well.

The Hood to Coast Tommies would like to continue to run together, and will be entering additional running events in the coming year. The team would like to take the experience of planning and training for the Hood to Coast and let it be the foundation for the development of an ongoing running community at UST. The team recognizes that there are similarities between planning for an event like the Hood to Coast and earning a degree at UST: both require discipline, preparation, individual and team work, and leadership and organizational skills. The team believes that a UST community running team can be a microcosm of the larger St. Thomas experience – bringing together members of the UST community in a common enterprise as well as supporting a healthy lifestyle.

If interested in joining the UST running community and participating in training runs and races, e-mail Dan Gjelten.

Van decorating by Dan Gjeltenis part of the fun of the race. Team Tommies in Van 1 before the race, from left to right: Phil Anderson, Nate Shuff, Kelsey Shuff, Suzanne Krzmarzick, Patty Costello and Tonia Bock. Team Tommies in Van 2 at the finish in Seaside, Ore., from left to right:  Kevin Reardon, Tim Hanson, Jesse Langer, Leslie Veenstra, Dan Gjelten and Lisa Burke.
  Tonia Bock ran this, her most difficult leg, midday Saturday, Aug. 25.