Community Gears Up for Dusty Fun Run and Walk Sat., Nov. 11

Hundreds of runners and walkers are preparing to participate in Texas A&M International University's sixth annual "Dusty Fun Run and Walk," an event benefiting student scholarships.

The Dusty Fun Run and Walk is scheduled to take place on Saturday, Nov. 11 on the A&M International campus. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. with competitive 5K and 10K runs and a non-competitive 2-mile Fun Walk starting at 8:30 a.m.

A&M International president Dr. Charles Jennett said last year's event attracted over 220 runners and walkers, including some from as far away as Monterrey and Kingsville. He hopes this year's event will draw even more participants.

"The community's response to the Dusty Fun Run and Walk has been tremendous. Everyone from grade school students to grandparents has helped support student scholarships. We're looking forward to a record participation and assistance for our student scholarship fundraising efforts," he said.

One Dusty Fun Run and Walk participant will be 10-year old Bernie Navarro, a student from M.S. Ryan Elementary School.

"I'm doing my part to help others get a good education. Getting a good education is important. I know because my mom is a teacher and she graduated from Texas A&M International University. That's why I want to help. The University helped my mom, now I'm helping them," he said.

Dr. Jennett noted this year's event has been made more "kid-friendly" with the addition of a competitive group for children ages 12 and under. Participants in this category will have "running buddies," student volunteers from the University's Fitness and Sports program, to ensure maximum safety. Children 12 and under will also receive a special certificate of participation as well as an official Dusty Fun Run & Walk T Shirt.

Additionally, fun children's games that teach first aid/safety and encourage fitness and motor development will be set up for young Dusty Fun Run and Walk participants. The children's games are free and are sponsored by A&M International's Fitness and Sports majors.

Entry Fee for children 12 and under is $2. Entry Fee for students and persons ages 65 and over is $5. Entry Fee for adults is $20. All paid participants will receive an official Dusty Fun Run & Walk T Shirt.

Competing groups for both male and females is as follows: ages 12 and under, 13 - 16, 17 - 20, 21 - 29, 30 - 39, 40 - 49, 50 - 59, 60 - 69, 70 - and above.

Dusty Fun Run and Walk participants may choose to participate in a competitive 5K run, competitive 10K run, or non-competitive 2-mile Fun Walk. Both the 5 and 10K race courses feature a variety of terrain including asphalt, dirt, grass, and some hills. Water stations and first aid stations will be set up along the course.

Trophies to be awarded in 5K and 10K run categories to the top three finishers in each competing age group and the overall top female and male finishers

Entry forms are available by calling the University's Office for Institutional Advancement at 326-2168. Registration may also be completed on the day of the event at 7:30 a.m.

Corporate sponsors are: Charter Member NBC Bank; Extreme Sponsors: Falcon International Bank, Wells Fargo-Laredo, Sol Communications, Mejia Engineering, Sprint PCS, Popeyes of Laredo; Iron Man Sponsor Mercy Health Plans; Performance Sponsors Sanchez Oil and Gas, and The Pain Management Clinic of Laredo. The Refreshment and Gift Sponsors for the event are Coca-Cola Bottling of Laredo, Follett Bookstores, Cavazos Candy Produce and Grocery Wholesale Inc., the Holiday Inn Civic Center, and Hampton Inn.

For additional information, please contact the University's Office for Institutional Advancement at 326-2168 or visit offices located in Killam Library, room 262. University office hours are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at