Running for scholarships

The UTSA Alumni Association is holding its 26th annual Diploma Dash 5K and Walk on Feb. 27.

Diploma Dash is a five km (3.1 miles) certified race that recognizes UTSA alumnus, promotes the school and raises money for UTSA alumni scholarships. Marcia Mattingly, marketing and communications consultant, said the Diploma Dash can be found in all Southwestern Texas race calendars and had a record high of 1079 participants last year.

There are a large variety of people who participate in the race, with 14 racing groups categorized by gender, weight and challenges like the Corporate Team Challenge and the Student Team Challenge. Also, DipDash Kids Program, sponsored by H-E-B will be running along with Diploma Dash, to allow children to participate.

According to Alumni Notes, the Diploma Dash started in 1985 as Hightailer 10K, changed to Dollars for Scholars 5K Race in 1993. It was finally renamed Diploma Dash in 2000. Credit goes to Roger Soler who worked hard to maintain the race’s functionality and reputation to keep the Diploma Dash going.

It is 10 dollars for UTSA students to participate in this event. The Student Team Challenge allows students to declare a team of at least five without having to pay extra for team registration. The decision for the winner is weighted by age and gendered. Mattingly said the ROTC, Air Force, Army and Lambda Chi Alpha have all participated in the past.

According to Mattingly, the Diploma Dash is special this year because a new route will be used. The route wraps around campus passing the Bioscience building, REC center and University Oaks. The Diploma Dash is geared towards adding more publicity to UTSA and features more scenic views of the campus.

Previous routes have gone under buildings like the Multidisciplinary building. The new route is completely self-contained and traffic will run normally without impeding drivers on campus.

The Diploma Dash provides a community for runners all over Texas and welcomes all to participate. Online registration closes on midnight of Feb. 24. Various prizes go to winners including cash prizes, trophies and medals. Free shirts will be given to participants.