Dr. Erik Heine, professor of music, completed a 12-hour endurance challenge to raise money for an endowed scholarship for music students.
Heine set out at 6 a.m. Oct. 22 to participate in “24 The Hard Way,” an annual marathon race in Oklahoma City where contestants can choose between doing a six, 12 or 24-hour run.
Heine’s goal for the day was to run 50 miles in 12 hours to raise $50,000 for the Deb Heine Endowed Scholarship.
The scholarship was inspired by Heine’s mother who first introduced him to music. It will be awarded to a music major who has completed at least five semesters at OCU as a way to diminish the cost of attendance and encourage high academic achievement.
“When I first set out for the day, I was with my friend who asked me ‘how many miles do you think you’ll run?’ and I said ‘well I don’t know, probably a bunch. Upper 60s I hope.’ And they told me ‘no, you’re going to run over 70 and win the whole thing,’” Heine said. “Once he said that, I started thinking ‘maybe I can do this.’ And that’s really what we try to do as teachers too. We tell our students ‘you can do better, I know you can do this’ and I did.”
Heine exceeded his goal by running 50 miles in the first eight hours and finishing with 71.85 miles total, winning the race.
Gabriella Ottersberg, music theater sophomore, said Heine is an admirable professor who sets a great example for his students.
“I went to the race, and it is an honor to be a student of a teacher that is invested, body and mind, in his students and our learning,” she said.
So far, the Deb Heine Endowed Scholarship has more than $6,000, and officials still are accepting donations, though the pledge-per-mile portion was removed after the race.
“Our goal is still to raise $50,000, so I hope people will continue to donate because we still have a long way to go,” Heine said. “I’ve been writing thank you notes to everyone that contributes, so I hope people will make me write thank yous ‘til my arm falls off.”
Donations can be made online at okcu.edu/onlinegiving/endurancechallenge/.
Heine returned to teaching the Monday after the race and went back to running by the end of the week. His next goal is to reach a qualifying time for the Boston Marathon, which is three hours and 15 minutes.
“People keep telling me ‘I could never do that,’ but it’s just not true,” Heine said. “Maybe not running, but everyone can do something really great. Maybe not today, but someday you’ll do something really great that will inspire someone else to do something great.”