The Georgetown Running Club and the Georgetown Center for Contemporary Arab Studies will hold the first Nina Brekelmans Memorial Scholarship 5K on Saturday.
Brekelmans passed away in a house fire in her Dupont Circle home on June 3, 2015, after recently graduating with a Master of Arts in Arab studies from Georgetown and receiving a Fulbright grant to research female distance runners in Jordan.
Race Director Mary Grace Pellegrini said the goal of the event is to continue Brekelmans’ legacy.
“After Nina passed, I think there was a desire among the team to contribute to Nina’s legacy, and one of the most tangible ways we felt we could do this was by putting on an event that would not only support a scholarship in her memory but would also be an opportunity to share her story and create a positive event around her life and her accomplishments,” Pellegrini said.
All of the proceeds from the race will be donated to a Georgetown-endowed scholarship fund focused on female empowerment in the Middle East. The fundraising goal for the scholarship is $10,000.
The race, in which Brekelmans’ family will participate, will begin and end on Copley Lawn. Participants will run through Georgetown’s campus and loop around the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Path. Check-in for the race will begin at 7 a.m. and the race will begin at 8 a.m. There will be a recognition ceremony in the Intercultural Center at 9:30 a.m.
Brekelmans competed for Dartmouth in cross country and track, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Arabic. After coming to Georgetown for graduate school, she became a member of the Georgetown University Running Club.
Brekelmans planned to live and work in the Middle East. In addition to studying Arabic, she interned in the Muslim Chaplaincy while she was at Georgetown and served as treasurer of Georgetown Women in International Affairs.