By Danielle Rideau
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, September 26, 2005
Race benefits 70 wheelchair athletes
Runners, walkers and individuals with disabilities alike rose with the sun and raced around the UA campus yesterday morning to collect money for the Disability Resource Center.
About 600 entrants participated in the 24th annual Jim Click Run 'N' Roll, which is the DRC's No. 1 moneymaker for their Adaptive Athletics Program, said Program Coordinator Janet Olson.
Adaptive Athletics is a program that combines various physical disabilities with sports, Olson said, and the proceeds made from the Run 'N' Roll will directly benefit the program, which supports 70 wheelchair athletes.
Yesterday's race, which included a series of eight-kilometer and three-kilometer wheelchair, walking, running and kids categories, raised about $140,000 for Adaptive Athletics operating costs, Olson said.
Because the Adaptive Athletics operating costs are not provided by the UA, Olson said, the Run 'N' Roll helps cover costs for travel, wheelchairs for athletes and equipment repair.
In addition to the disabled community, the race also included participation and volunteer efforts by students, UA athletes and members from Greek Life.
The UA swimming and diving team brought 56 men and women to participate in the race, and the UA track and field team volunteered time to help with race staffing.
Undeclared sophomore Bob Stinson of the swimming and diving team participated in the race for the first time yesterday because he wanted to help support the DRC, he said.
While the competitors ran the course, members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity stood on the corner of North Vine Avenue and East First Street to cheer on and encourage racers as part of their fraternity's philanthropy, said Charlie Touche, fraternity philanthropy chair.
The men also assisted in set up and clean up before and after the race.
"This is such a long race," Touche said, "and we want to help support what they are doing for the community."
The Run 'N' Roll was also an opportunity for the DRC's Track and Roadracing team to invite high school recruits from across the country to race with at the UA, said Tyler Byers, team coach and winner of the individual wheelchair race.
Byers said he is not unfamiliar with the nature of the games as this was his eighth time participating and his sixth time winning.
"This is a great event," Byers said. "It helps raise a lot of money for our programs and is great exposure for the Adaptive Athletic Programs."
Shirley Reilly, a member of the roadrace team, won the women's division of the race.
Like Byers, this was her fifth time participating, and she has no plans of quitting anytime soon, she said.
"As long as I'm here, I'm going to be doing (the Run 'N' Roll)," said the undeclared freshman.
Following the conclusion of the race, an award ceremony was held for the participants, and awards were given to the top three racers in each division and for various other categories, including the most money raised.