A Community-Building Virtual Race Without Borders

September 25, 2020
Virtual road race

Greater Boston. New Hampshire. New York City. Hawaii. 

These were among the places where students, faculty, staff, and alumni completed the IHP Resilience 5K 2020. Organized by Val Grande and Vanessa Desrochers for the IHP Staff Council Community Service and the Health, Wellness, and Social committees, the event drew 127 participants and raised $2,455 for the COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund.

“With virtual life becoming our new norm, Val and I came up with a motto, ‘Let’s run with it,’ to help bring the IHP community together in a way that would give everyone something to look forward to,” said Desrochers.

Johann Hepner, MSN ’10, participated from half-way across the globe: he and Carol Hepner did a 4.38-mile hike up a trail on Lana’i Island in Hawaii. “I was nominated by my supervisor and thankfully won a vacation package donated by the Four Seasons,” said Johann, who has worked on the island state as a psychiatric nurse practitioner since 2017. “We are enjoying the amenities of luxury and will try to remember this when we’re back in the trenches.”

“I ran the 5k the day after submitting my registration because I was so excited,” said 2012 Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduate Lauren Peate Chesnard, who almost doubled the 3.1-mile distance when she ran six miles along Lake Massabesic on the Manchester-Auburn line in New Hampshire. “Running has become an important part of my life for stress relief since nursing school.”

Other stories submitted by participants include:

  • Komal Bajaj, HPED ’16, completed the 5K in New York’s Central Park.
  • Luella Benn, who works in the Office of Student and Alumni Services, “completed a beautiful evening jog in Somerville.”
  • Jamie Bentzien-Purrington, a second-year SLP student, hiked at Molly Stark State Park and Hogback Mountain Conservation Area in Wilmington, Vermont.
  • CSD assistant professor Bonnie Halvorson, CSD ’07, and her husband, Ron, walked around the forest in the Flat Rock Audubon Reservation near Fitchburg for the afternoon. “It's a gorgeous place.”
  • Olivia Klenert, a second-year MSN student, hiked at Blue Hills Reservation in Milton with her dog, Olive.
  • Antigone McHugh, CSD ’00, and his family biked the Minuteman trail through Bedford, Lexington, and Arlington.
  • Megan Schliep, PhD ’20, ran her 5k along the Charles River in Watertown.

Participants included 48 alumni representing BSN, MSN, DNP, CSD, DPT, MSPT, OT, PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences, MS-HPEd, and CAS Language and Literacy; 47 faculty and staff from Brain Recovery Lab, CIPSI, CSD, Development, GC, IT, Library, Nursing, OES, Office of the President, Office of the Provost, OSAS, OT, PT,  SAiL Lab, and SHRS; 23 students from CSD, PT, GC, BSN, MSN, OT, and PA; and nine friends of the IHP.

View a collage of submitted photos below:

Virtual road race


Photos in collage:

Row 1: Bonnie Halvorson, Jaqueline Lussier, Valerie Grande, Heather Wilder

Row 2: Malani Sundaram, Emily Zeman Eddy, Mary Ellen Ferolito

Row 3: Ann Seman, Charles Haynes, Linnet Correiria, Alison Cirino

Row 4: Anitgone McHugh & Family, Olivia Klenert, Megan Schliep, Taylor, Mackenzie, & Audra Wallace

Row 5: Sylvia Larkin Devinne, Lauren Putman, Bill Elizondo, Debra Kelly

Row 6: Luella Benn, Jennifer Rodriquez, Vanessa Desrochers, Joanna Kreisel, Komal Bajaj, Lauren Peate

Row 7: Mark Moody, Johann & Carol Hepner, John Fitzpatrick, Megan & Patti Peterson

Row 8: Mike Bjork, Ben Mahanna, Ann Noble, Anna Cottrell

Side : Paula Milone- Nuzzo, Elizabeth Pipes, Joanna Duggan, Ariel Lontoc