New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

NYU’s department of physical therapy hosts race to raise money for research

The department’s annual 5K fundraiser event supported the Marquette Challenge, a student-led organization that has raised millions for physical therapy research.

NYU students, faculty, friends and family members gathered at Pier 84 for the 14th annual NYU department of physical therapy Marquette Challenge on the morning of April 6. The event featured 100 racers, who ran along the Hudson River all the way down to Pier 62 and then back to the starting line.

The event was set up with the goal of raising money for the Marquette Challenge, a student-led competition between universities to raise money for the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research. NYU is one of 10 universities that have raised over $100,000 for the program since it was created by physical therapy students at Marquette University in 1989.

The organizer of this year’s event was physical therapy student Denise Pham, who said that the money the event raised will primarily go to scholarships and fellowships for physical therapy researchers.

“We always emphasize evidence-based practice,” Pham told WSN. “As a future clinician, we want to make sure that what we’re providing for our patients is the most optimal type of care. Being able to raise money for this cause helps advance those that are in the profession and be able to better care for our patients.”

A man hands a participant her running number in front of the New York City shoreline.
(Lianna O’Grady for WSN)

The runners arrived about an hour ahead of the race to check in and catch up with their peers and professors before getting themselves ready for the big race.  

A group of people add to a raffle pool.
(Lianna O’Grady for WSN)
A participant writes her name on a raffle ticket on a table full of mason jars with prizes written on them.

Among these welcome activities was a raffle with prizes donated by sponsors to continue to raise funds for the Marquette Challenge.

A woman using a megaphone to speak to a large line of runners.
(Lianna O’Grady for WSN)
A large group of people start the 5K.

At 10 a.m., the runners were called to line up at the race’s starting line before taking off onto the route.

A woman raises her hands triumphantly as she crosses the finish line.
(Lianna O’Grady for WSN)

All of the participants, whether they ran or walked, finished the 5K route within 40 minutes. Will Pesto placed first with a time of 15:45. Those who had already finished their race stayed by the sidelines to cheer on their fellow runners on the final stretch of the run.

“I love to run and I love running with my favorite people so there’s no better way to raise money than running together, and with that we’re also supporting our profession so I think it’s just perfect,” said NYU associate professor Anat Lubetzky.

Two people run in front of the New York City skyline smiling.
(Lianna O’Grady for WSN)
Two women with running bibs pinned to their shirts run on a bridge.

New York University’s department of physical therapy raised at least $10,000 across multiple fundraising events for this year’s Marquette Challenge.

“We’ve been able to have events like the 5K, a Pi Day event where we “pied” our professors in the face, a competition between students, lots of bake sales and lots of mixers — to raise money — so from a physical therapy school standpoint it’s been lots of fun,” said Gabby Goodwin, a physical therapy student and aquatics instructor at NYU.

Two participants pose for the camera as they run in the challenge.
(Lianna O’Grady for WSN)
A woman smiles and raises her hands up as she runs.

“It seems like I am a regular student and not really making a change, but when so many people show up to these events it shows that we are actually making an impact and raising money for what we want to do,” physical therapy student Anna Laskaris said.

Contact Lianna O’Grady at [email protected].

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