In March of 2009 the St. Ambrose community was struck with the tragic death of one of its own. Derrek Drexler, who was a junior at the time, lost a battle with a rare complication from a viral infection.
Drexler, who was originally from Dubuque, Iowa, attended St. Ambrose on a full-tuition academic scholarship. He was majoring in accounting and finance. Now an annual part of Last Blast, the “Dash 4 Drex” was started in 2009 to not only provide the opportunity to remember and honor him, but also to increase the funding scholarship started in Drexler’s honor.
This year’s race will be held on April 30 at 9 a.m. Admission to run or walk in the race is $20, but St. Ambrose students get a discounted price of $15. The race is a 2.1 miles long, in honor of Derrek’s age when he passed away on his 21st birthday.
Students who registered by Tuesday, April 19, are guaranteed a race t-shirt. However, it is most likely that all racers will receive a t-shirt.
Senior Jeremy Bell has participated in the race for the past two years.
“Even though I didn’t really know Derrek, something like this still hits hard at such a small campus, so it’s a great race to run,” Bell said. “It has been a great way to start my Last Blast for the past couple years.”
Last year, the race had right around 300 people run, and introduced an annual brunch as well. Campus Recreation is hoping to have more people this year to raise more for the scholarship fund. Like last year, an optional brunch catered by Sodexo will be offered post-race, beginning at 10 a.m. in the Rogalski Center ballroom. The cost of the brunch is an additional $9 per person, and SAU students with a meal plan can opt to eat for just $4
Graduate assistant in the Campus Recreation department and a friend of Drexler, Nick Mulert loves this race because it is a wonderful way for everyone to remember and share memories about Derrek.
“It is really cool, because all of his friends from Ambrose will be here, along with his high school friends as well,” Mulert stated. “It’s just a way for all of his friends, and even his family, to come together and remember him. Derrek was a big part of this community and it’s clear by the number of people who run this race.”
So come run a great race on April 30 and support Drexler and this great Scholarship.