It's part tradition, part friendly competition: Scottish Rite Hospital for Children's faculty vs. fellows.
Teams of five will relay the 26.2-mile BMW Dallas Marathon on Sunday.
"There's a fellow team every year made up of fellows who are training to become specialists in pediatric orthopedic surgery, and they compete every year against the faculty and staff who are their educators and mentors," said orthopedic surgeon Anthony Riccio.
Back in the day, Dr. Riccio ran on the fellows team. Since then, things have changed.
"Since 2010 I've been faculty, and now of course I've switched allegiances and run with the staff," he said.
Their competition dates back at least 20 years that they know of, and almost every year, guess who's come out on top?
"The faculty team has only lost one race -- one out of 20! So I think the fellows have a pretty slim chance of defeating us," Dr. Riccio said.
Not so fast. The fellows do have one advantage.
"I ran cross country way back in high school," said fellow Lorena Floccari, whose entire team is impressively athletic.
In addition to Floccari, the team is comprised of an all-American gymnast, a former Division 1 tennis player, and a guy who played college baseball and rugby.
Okay maybe two advantages: the fellows also range in age from 28 to 32.
"They've got youth on their side," Dr. Riccio said. "We've got experience. Our average age hovers around 50. I think our youngest runner is 40, and our oldest runner is 68. I'll take experience over youth any day."
Determined to break their losing streak, this year's competitive fellows have pushed ahead with training and strategy.
"I'm going to be doing the third leg," Floccari said. "We've been making a few different adjustments so it's still a work in progress."
The old guys have a few tricks up their sleeves, too, starting with breakfast.
"We like to provide the fellow team with a host of cinnamon buns and syrupy treats to eat every morning while the faculty sits back with our water and bananas to make sure that we're in tip-top shape for this race," Dr. Riccio admitted.
The Dallas Marathon is a race that's brought in $4 million for their hospital since 1997. That's motivation enough for both teams to train hard and cross the finish line on Sunday.
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