Surgeons complete relay,
raise $4,500 for scholarship fund
A team of six current and former UF small animal veterinary surgeons and surgery residents — self-described as “The Orthopods and Relay Rods” – completed the 100-mile relay race on May 19 in the Florida Keys.
The group ran beneath overcast skies, in temperatures hovering around 80 degrees — a welcome break, especially on the seven-mile bridge, said Dr. Dan Lewis, a longtime professor of small animal surgery at UF and a former UF small animal surgery resident, who coordinated the group’s participation in the event.
“It was with much anticipation that our team, including Dr. Jay Coisman dressed as a flamingo, made our way to the start of the Keys 100 ultramarathon,” Lewis said. “At precisely 6 a.m., the gun went off, and with that, our own Dr. Kristin Kirkby began the first five-mile leg toward the finish in Key West.”
Kirkby is a former small animal surgery resident and instructor at UF who now works in Seattle.
The group completed the race in 14 hours and 8 minutes — an 18th place finish overall — almost four hours ahead of their expectations, Lewis said.
“Each runner did anywhere from seven to two-mile stents down US-1,” Lewis said. “We finished just in time to enjoy the Key West sunset with beers in hand.”
The group raised nearly $4,500 for the Small Animal Surgery Residents Scholarly Fund.
Team participants, in addition to Lewis, Kirkby and Coisman, included former surgery resident Krista Halling and current surgery residents Caleb Hudson and Stephen Jones.
As a bit of trivia, the team consumed 28 bottles of water, 30 energy bars and 36 bottles of Gatorade during the event, Halling said.