On Friday and Saturday, March 2 and 3, Utica College will host its 21st consecutive year of America’s Great Heart Run and Walk.
The Heart Run and Walk will kick off on Friday, March 2, with a Health and Fitness Expo in the Harold T. Clark Jr. Athletic Center from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. UC will also host the WKTV Telethon and the WIBX Radiothon. The Telethon will be Friday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Radiothon will be Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Both will be held in the Harold T. Clark Jr. Athletic Center. Saturday, March 3, will consist of the 30k run, 10-mile run, 5-mile run, 3-mile run, 5-mile walk, and 3-mile walk, which all end at UC.
This year, Team UC is taking a different approach to the heart run and walk - supporting congenital heart defects. Samantha Miller was named this year’s honorary captain for Team UC for the Heart Run and Walk. A sophomore majoring in criminal justice and minoring in sociology, Miller was born with a rare congenital heart defect called dextocardia dextroposition, which means that her heart is on the right side of her chest and it is turned backwards.
“I have gone to many heart doctors that have been amazed at what they see with a defect like mine,” Miller said. “America’s Greatest Heart Run and Walk is such an amazing event and the fundraising that comes with it has been a tremendous help because the research is finally helping doctors find answers for me.”
Two elements that play a big role in her condition are bradycardia and tachycardia. Bradycardia is when her heart rate goes to an extreme low (30s) and tachycardia means her heart rate goes extremely high (about 180). Money for research has allowed her to have an internal monitor that transmits information about her heart rate to a hospital in Syracuse. Although she is faced with this condition, it has never stopped her from doing anything, especially playing sports all of her life.
“Although I do have to be cautious of my condition and I do have complications at times, it has never limited me from doing anything,” Miller said. “It doesn’t define me; I define it.”
Team UC is hosting a multitude of fundraising events leading up to the Heart Run and Walk. Currently, they have Penny Wars going on in a number of offices on campus. They have a “Pie-The-Coach” event planned for Wednesday, Feb. 28 in Strebel Lounge from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The team is also selling T-shirts outside the Dining Commons from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Monday and Thursday.
For more information, contact Marissa Finch, area coordinator/student affairs and Team UC captain, at (315) 792-3285 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Utica College – Utica College, founded in 1946, is a comprehensive private institution offering bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees. The College, located in upstate central New York, approximately 90 miles west of Albany and 50 miles east of Syracuse, currently enrolls more than 5,000 students in 42 undergraduate majors, 36 minors, 20 graduate programs and a number of pre-professional and special programs. For more information, visit www.utica.edu.