Community runs for kids’ health at inaugural Children’s Miracle Network Dash and Bash 5K

Over 150 participants of all ages gathered at the starting line in the early morning on May 18 to run for the inaugural Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Dash and Bash: Supporting Pediatric Trauma Services at UF Health.

May was National Trauma Awareness Month and marked the beginning of what’s known as the “100 deadliest days,” which are between Memorial and Labor Day. As the area’s Level 1 Trauma Center, UF Health Shands provides lifesaving care for pediatric and adult patients every year, including children like Isla Mock. In fourth grade, Isla suffered a traumatic ATV accident and relied on the care of UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital and the Level 1 Trauma Center, along with the hospital’s support services, including Arts in Medicine and Child Life, during her most challenging days.

People running under a starting arch

Isla and her family shared their story as grateful patients to UF Health Shands and Emily Cannister of the trauma team sang the national anthem to kick off the race. As the competitors ran around the campus of the University of Florida and past UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital, clouds gave way to sunshine, perfectly reflecting the race’s spirit, which was about more than just a 5K. With support from the community, donors and participants, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital was able to raise $10,000 for pediatric trauma services at UF Health.

Throughout the race, competitors received ample motivation from groups that created “cheer zones” along the route. Wawa, Family Promise of Gainesville, and the Alachua County Department of Health all ensured the runners received plenty of praise, while Fit to Run provided water just past the children’s hospital.

The success of the 5K was celebrated at the post-race bash, where vendors and safety partners set up outside the north endzone at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Participants and attendees had the opportunity to interact with event sponsors and vendors, enjoying entertainment from DJ Josh Taylor while community care teams hosted a “touch-a-truck” event, allowing children to explore the inside of an ambulance and the UF Health Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit. A medal ceremony for first place finishers as well as raffle items from Total Wine, Kendra Scott, Balance 180, Okito America and O2B Kids were highlights of the Bash, along with Germain’s food truck.

A gathering of people under trees
A family in an ambulance in front of a football stadium

Funds raised from the CMN Hospitals Dash and Bash 5K will directly benefit initiatives within the pediatric trauma unit at UF Health, such as burn garments and support items like gas cards for travel, clothes and more.  

Dash and Bash 5K Winners

Female 10 and under: A. Waltrip

Female 11-13: N. Meyer

Female 14-18: Amaya Zachary

Female 19-24: Alessandra Portillo

Female 25-35: Brooke Ficarrotta

Female 36-45: Jessica Kajfasz

Female 46-55: Jackie Knox

Female 56-65: Sally Chappell

Female 66 and over: Eliza Meiga

Male 10 and under: M. Marsicek

Male 11-13: C. McCoy

Male 14-18: Matthew Hinton

Male 19-24: Parker Whitmore

Male 25-35: Parker Musto

Male 36-45: Joon Suk Choi

Male 46-55: Billy Seay

Male 56-65: Shane Fitzpatrick

Male 66 and over: Robert Smith

Thank you to our partners that helped make the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Dash and Bash a reality: Flad Architects, Rex and Brody Foundation, Wingstop