Steps for Students 5K Walk/Run blazes through stormy weather with almost 9,000 registered

February 27, 2024

Runners charge through the Steps for Students 5K Walk/Run starting line at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in downtown Houston on Feb. 10. Nearly 9,000 runners were registered for the event that raised more than $770,000 to benefit Catholic schools. (Photo by James Ramos/Herald)

HOUSTON — Despite a damp start to the morning, thousands of runners and walkers gathered in downtown Houston on Saturday, Feb. 10, for the 19th Annual Steps for Students 5K Walk/Run to raise awareness and funds for Catholic schools in the Archdiocese.

This year, the event has raised more than $770,000 for Catholic schools and drew over 8,700 registered runners.

Auxiliary Bishop Italo Dell’Oro, CRS, who later ran in the race, first celebrated the 7 a.m. sunrise Mass at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. Telling the churchgoers, many dressed in their running gear, “Thank you all for being here this morning. But our true finish line we’re aiming for is Heaven!”

Early stormy weather didn’t slow down runners. Katy teen Elijah Emerson was the Howie Ryan Top Male finisher with a time of 16:32, while Casey Timme of Kingwood repeated as the Howie Ryan Top female finisher with 20:06 time. The fastest priest, Father Richard “Luke” Millette, kept his streak going in his age category with a winning time of 19:08.

St. Martha Catholic School in Kingwood won the David Guite Spirit Award. Father T.J. Dolce accepted the plaque with his trademark wide smile and enthusiastic gratitude. St. Peter Catholic High School, a new career and technical school, won the High School President’s Cup for the greatest percent of participation based on enrollment. St. Peter Principal Dr. Marc Martinez, who recently moved into the renovated state-of-the-art facilities off Old Spanish Trail, accepted the large silver trophy to display for the year at the school.

PHOTOS: Seen at Steps for Students

Román Martínez, chair of the Steps Committee, rallied the participants from the start line stage, telling the crowd as they lined up, “This race would not happen without all of our volunteers. We also thank all the students who raised the money and our generous sponsors.”

Martínez highlighted perennial sponsor Reytec Construction Resources, with several offices across the state, saying, “The CEO Gregg Reyes attended Resurrection Catholic School and remains dedicated to Catholic education.”

Harvey Construction was the bib sponsor. Reliant, Marek Family Foundation, Raye G. White and Strake Jesuit College Preparatory returned as sponsors as well. The fundraiser benefits all 55 schools in the Archdiocese.

Funds will continue to be accepted through Feb. 29 at