It was a perfect fall morning - sunny and62 - for the second annual Penn 5K for the IOA and Memory Mile Walk onSeptember 22, 2013. Nearly 300 walkers and runners, ranging from 3 years old to90 years old, turned out some fast times on the new race course through PennPark, with skyline views of Center City.
“Despite cuts in federal research support,we have a responsibility to continue age-related research as baby boomers headtowards retirement and seniors are living well into their 90s and 100s,” saidrace organizer P.J. Brennan, MD, chief medical officer of the University ofPennsylvania Health System and an Institute on Aging advisory board member.“Exercise is important as we age. We could prevent 10,000 cases of Alzheimer’sin Pennsylvania alone if 10 percent of the population reduced hypertension,diabetes, obesity, inactivity, smoking, and depression.”
This year's winning times came from runnerswith a variety of Penn and Penn Medicine connections. The overall top male,Eric Chappelle, who works in the gene therapy lab of Jim Wilson, finished in18:57. The overall top female, ZandraWalton, is a third year Perelman School of Medicine MD/PhD candidate in herfirst year of graduate work focusing on cancer biology. Zandra, whosegrandmother died of Alzheimer's disease, won the female category last year, andturned in a time of 20:17 this year.
Other top finishers in the age groups camefrom Penn Medicine's Anesthesia department, the Penn Memory Center, PennNursing, the Penn Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research, the Clinical Effectiveness and QualityImprovement department, the department of Medicine, a Penn Neurosurgerytraumatic brain injury survivor, and undergraduates from the University's College of Arts and Sciences, Liberal and Professional Studies, and WhartonSchool. A recent addition to Penn Medicine family, Richard Donze from the ChesterCounty Hospital and Health System, the newestmember of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, also placed in hisage group.
5Krace results are available online through Pretzel City Sports, and photosare available from Daniel Burke Photography.
All proceeds from the event help furtherresearch at the IOA for the treatment and care of patients with Alzheimer’s,neurodegenerative and other age-related diseases. Last year’s race proceedswent to the Pilot Research Grant Program, to support researchers entering thefield and to stimulate multi-disciplinary projects exploring new directions inthe field of aging.
The day wouldn't have been possible withouta cadre of volunteers and supporters, who ensured the race went off without ahitch.
Institute on Aging director JohnTrojanowski, MD, PhD, concluded the morning by thanking participants,volunteers, organizers and supporters for raising important funds to continueresearch on age-related diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and otherneurodegenerative diseases.
Photos by Daniel Burke Photography and Debbie Foster for Penn Medicine.