Rolling out of bed before sunrise for the SAP TechEd 5K in Las Vegas was especially meaningful for the more than 700 outdoor enthusiasts who registered this year.

Held in memory of long-time organizer Diane Gottheimer Davis, the event generated an outpouring of emotions, including acknowledgements, remembrances tinged with sadness. I know because I was there interviewing runners (and walkers) at the start and finish lines who shared their thoughts in this video:

The high turn-out wasn’t surprising to anyone I spoke with, whether they arrived sporting Superman shirts or crutches. Everyone told me that Diane was a well-respected SAP Global Events team member whose best practices are still used today to deliver first-rate conference experiences to customers.

In honor of Diane, SAP is donating to Women in Aviation International (WAI), an organization of which she was a member. This non-profit organization offers scholarships, education and encouragement to women worldwide world. Getting outside of the conference center for some fresh air was a fitting tribute to Diane and the innovative spirit she always brought to SAP TechEd.

Follow me: @smgaler

Images via SAP.