Surgeons’ relay race
to support scholarship fund


A group of current and former UF veterinary surgeons and residents, from near and far, are trading tips on everything from electrolytes to sunscreen while they prepare for a 100-mile relay race they plan to run as a team May 19 in the Florida Keys.

They hope they’ll more than get by with a little help from their friends, not just each other but also supporters who show enthusiasm for their efforts by contributing to the Small Animal Surgery Resident Scholarly Fund.

Dr. Krista Halling, a former UF small animal surgery resident who now co-owns a surgery practice near Toronto, Canada, set up a website with information about the fund and the race, enabling donations to be made online.

The site is

The group consists of Dr. Dan Lewis, a former UF resident and current professor of small animal surgery; Dr. Jay Coisman, small animal surgery resident; Dr. Caleb Hudson, small animal surgery resident; Dr. Stephen Jones, small animal surgery resident; Dr. Kristin Kirkby, former UF small animal surgery resident and former surgery instructor, who now works for a specialty practice in Seattle; and Halling.

All of the team members are training in their own way, and will contribute in the relay according to their strengths and preferences.

“It will be warm and the goal is to finish without anyone dying,” said Lewis, who organized the group. “Worst case scenario is that we each run, like, 4 miles, then drive to Key West and hang out at Sloppy Joe’s the rest of the day while Caleb finishes up the last 80 miles.”

Halling, who finished her residency in 2002, enjoys athletic challenges and ran a few marathons with Lewis during her UF program.

“It was Jay Coisman’s idea to form a relay team for the Keys 100 ultramarathon and Dan saw it as a great fundraising opportunity, which it is,” Halling said. “For me, it merges two key aspects of my life, endurance racing and being a small animal surgeon. I am thankful for both of those abilities and was thrilled to be asked to join the team. My answer was a no brainer.”

The two-day race consists of  both individual and relay competitions and will be a point-to-point event beginning in Key Largo and ending in Key West on the Atlantic Ocean at Smathers Beach.


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