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The Rundown: I am Dam Strong 5K


May 7 dawned bright and beautiful in Central Texas for the 136 runners – including eight New Life girls –  who participated in our inaugural “I am Dam Strong” 5K benefiting Upbring New Life Children’s Center in Canyon Lake. Runners, who began the race at New Life’s neighbor Lala’s Dam Red Barn & Grill, crossed over to Dam Road where they ran through the first and second gates before heading back to Lala’s. This was the first run on Canyon Lake Dam in more than 18 years!

5K coordinatorsxPreparation for the race began in January thanks to the coordination of a few amazing Upbring staff members: Leslie Ontiveros, Program Director, Victoria Davis, Recreation Specialist and Lisa Brown, Director of Volunteers. In addition, three New Life girls ran the water station and one sang the National Anthem to launch the race’s start.

Our loyal supporters from Universal City’s Christ the King Lutheran Church brought 11 runners and 11 members of the Women’s Basketball team at Texas State University volunteered! Adding to the festivities were runners dressed as a Power Ranger and Spiderman, the Chick-fil-A cow – dressed in a track suit – handed out chicken biscuits and five “sleepwalkers” registered to support New Life but didn’t plan on actually running.

The Nevergalls

The Nevergalls

5K cow

Upbring VP Mike Nevergall, who ran in the race with his wife Rachel, said they both felt it was a uniquely challenging race with the large hill to climb in the first mile – and then the payoff at the top, with the run across the top of the dam, made it all worth it.  “We’ve run a lot of races – of all distances – and this race offers runners from both the Austin and San Antonio areas something new and different,” said Mike. “Plus it’s for a great cause!”

Thanks to everyone who came out to support the New Life girls and made this inaugural fun run such a success! And a special thanks to Lala’s for making your property available to stage the race.


Upbring New Life Children’s Center is a residential treatment center for severely troubled girls ages 11-17 who are being treated for emotional disorders due to abuse and neglect. Beyond the basic needs of shelter, clothing and food, New Life has given more than 2,000 girls a safe place to heal.



  1. autumn summer estridge | June 19, 2016 at 1:27 am

    i miss running im so glad to see that you guys are doing that because belive it or not running has helped me alot and i has changed my point of veiw on things i remeber when we said we were going to host our own 5k i cant believe ive been gone for almost a year and ive been doing really good i graduate next year and im being fosterd by a really nuce family i wish you guys can see me today me and juana always talk about you guys you guys keep changing girls lifes like you guys did mine and who knows maybe we will cross paths i will invite you guys to graduation i will always miss yal thanks to all of you i guess it took 3 years of being there to change but i did thanks for beliving in me and never giving up on me thanks

    • Marketing Admin | October 27, 2016 at 11:27 am

      We are so happy to hear you’re doing well and that New Life’s running club made a difference for you. Keep believing in yourself. We sure do!


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