More than 9,100 runners participate in Steps for Students

February 25, 2014

HOUSTON — Following Mass at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, a blessing from Daniel Cardinal DiNardo and the beautiful pealing bells of the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart sent off thousands of runners and participants of all ages as they took part in the ninth annual Steps for Students 5K Run/Walk and the David K. Guite Memorial 1K Family Fun Run. 

Benefitting the network of 60 Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, the Run/Walk began at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, 1111 St. Joseph Pkwy., on Saturday, Feb. 15. The 5K event was sponsored by Yellow Cab and Taxis Fiesta. The David K. Guite Memorial 1K was sponsored by St. Joseph Medical Center. 

The Howie Ryan Top Finishers were Jeffrey Price for the men and Heidi Zimmerman for the women. The annual David K. Guite Spirit Award was given to Holy Family Catholic School in Galveston.

School communities, parishioners, community partners and runners from across the Archdiocese participated in Steps for Students to help raise awareness of the value of Catholic education, assist schools with raising funds and support the Archdiocesan Tuition Assistance Program. 
There were more than 9,100 confirmed participants along with families and friends cheering on, making it more than 10,000 people who attended the event.

“Steps for Students is a day of fun and community-building,” said Dr. George Laird, interim superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese. “It is a time for us to come together as friends and supporters of the Archdiocese in support of our mission to educate our students in mind, heart and spirit. The run also helps the financial well-being of our Catholic schools in providing quality Catholic education for our students.” 

Román Martínez, president and chief executive officer of Texas Taxis, the parent company of both Yellow Cab and Taxis Fiesta, said he would not have been able to attend Catholic schools without scholarship assistance. 

A former student of both St. Theresa Elementary and Strake Jesuit College Preparatory, Martinez said, “I now want to do whatever I can to help others have that opportunity. Moreover, I owe my success in life to the foundation I received at those great Catholic schools that my parents sacrificed to help me attend.” 

Martinez, along with Diana Dávila Martínez, were the event chairs. Yellow Cab and Taxis Fiesta have sponsored the event since its inception in 2006 and have been the presenting sponsor for more than four years.

This year’s race was chip-timed for the first time ever and featured a single-loop course.

David O’Conor, race director, said the chips registered runners and walkers on the 5K course at the starting line and the finish line.

He said the single-loop course this year helped with the safety of the participants, avoiding overlap of the faster runners catching up to the walkers with the double-loop course that was used in the previous year.

Eddie Brito and his daughter Kaylee, a student at St. Catherine Montessori School, walked the 5K course.

“It was great! We had fun,” Brito said. “Kaylee now wants to do more races.”

Brito, who was one of the chairpersons for the PSO/Booster Club at St. Catherine Montessori School, said the race ran smoothly, even with all the people in attendance.

“I have to say that the support from the Steps for Students Race organizers was amazing,” he said. “Thinking about it blows me away, because I understand that there are so many people involved and if everyone was treated as well as us by the organizers that is an amazing job.”