The First National Tower in downtown Omaha juts 633 feet into the sky. That’s 40 floors or 870 steps. The UNMC – School of Allied Health Professions team of Geri Finn, Erin Hoffman, Andrew Henneberry, Jill Jensen, and our dean, Kyle Meyer, PhD, accepted the vertical challenge and made the Trek Up the Tower on February 21, 2015.
The annual event attracts hundreds and is a major fundraiser for WELLCOM. Established in Omaha in 1982, WELLCOM’s mission is to “partner with employers to deliver wellness programs that impact employee wellbeing and wellness, strengthen the culture, and drive business results.”
UNMC is a member of WELLCOM and a Supporting Sponsor. Dr. Meyer is on the 18-member WELLCOM Board of Directors, and he is the President-elect of the board.
“I participated as a board member in support of WELLCOM and to have the experience,” said Dr. Meyer, who trained by swimming, running, and using a stair climber at the gym. “It was a very well-organized and well-run event.”
Team leader, Geri Finn, said, “The four of us from PA trained daily in the Lied Transplant Center stairwell, which is 14 floors. Training started at one time up, but we eventually increased to doing this three times a day. It took us about three minutes for a trip to the top.”
Of the five, Jill Jensen came in with the best time at 7:57. Geri was right behind her at 8:03. Kyle made it in 8:55, Andrew in 11:14, and Erin in 11:19. Other race results>>
Erin Hoffman had encouraged the others to sign up. Afterward, she said, “It’s the most fun I’ve ever had while I felt like I was dying.”
Would they do it again?
“I believe that I speak for everyone when I say that we will certainly do the Trek again,” said Geri. “I feel stronger because of the stair training, and I think it will help me become a better runner.”
Congratulations to you all, and see you at the tower in 2016!