By Randy York
Nebraska senior linebacker and future doctor Chris Weber called Sunday’s fifth annual Uplifting Athletes Road Race a “huge success” outside of Memorial Stadium.
“It was an uplifting experience for all of us,” said Weber, who will be one of three Huskers to represent Nebraska at Big Ten Media Days in Chicago later this month.
“It's always great to see our players interacting with the runners and cheering them on as they race,” Weber said. “I feel the same way our administrators do. To have 750 runners out here on a Sunday morning in July proves why there is no place like Nebraska.”
Nebraska’s chapter of Uplifting Athletes raised nearly $36,000 Sunday to help pediatric brain cancer research. “I got involved with the Uplifting Athletes Road Race early on because I wanted to be more than just a college football player,” said Weber, an Elkhorn, Neb. graduate and a walk-on who is expected to start the 2017 season as Nebraska’s inside linebacker.
Weber does more than donate to the Uplifting Athletes’ cause. He shares his thoughts on the radio and distributes flyers whenever possible to promote participation.
Weber's Dedication Spurred the Vast Majority of Players to Participate
Weber's dedication spurred almost every Husker football player to participate in Sunday’s 5-K event, including De'Mornay Pierson-El (No. 15 in above photo).
“Chris has been a rock for the Nebraska Football Uplifting Athletes Chapter,” said Keith Zimmer, Nebraska's Senior Associate Athletic Director for Life Skills and the N Club. “Chris has been passionate about raising funds and creating awareness to help find a cure for pediatric brain cancer. He leads by example and has the respect of his peers. That's the primary reason why the entire team was so eager to volunteer their time and share their talents to make a difference.”
Weber also “helped set the table with two emerging leaders in Bo Kitrell and Tristan Gebbia,” Zimmer said. “Both Bo and Tristan are ready to take the reins next spring and continue making our Uplifting Athletes chapter among the elite in college football.”
Kitrell is a 6-1, 235-pound junior tight end from Ashland, Neb., and Gebbia is a 6-3, 180-pound freshman quarterback from Calabasas, Calif.
Brown: 2017 Road Race Had Extra Special Meaning Because It's Last One
For senior Husker place kicker Drew Brown (No. 34 above), this year's Road Race had extra special meaning "because it is the last one I will be a part of as a member of the football team," he said. "To see all of the families that have been affected by cancer at some point in their life come to the race and interact with us is something that is truly special to me.
"For once, an event with football players attending isn't about us; it's about the cause and all of the amazing families in attendance," Brown said. "Its always great seeing the smiles on the young kids that are there when they ask you to sign their ball or take a picture with them. It's something I'm truly going to miss when I graduate."
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