Susan G. Komen race expects more than 3,500 runners Sunday

Thursday, September 16, 2010 | 7:18 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — This Sunday, Columbia streets will run pink.

More than 3,500 participants are registered to run, walk or jog the city’s first annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. The event will raise money to benefit breast cancer awareness, research and treatment.

The 5K run is already expected to be the largest race Columbia has hosted to date, and volunteers expect up to 500 more applicants will surface before the starting gun.

The race begins at 8 a.m. between Faurot Field and Hearnes Center. Runners cross Stadium Boulevard onto Maryland Avenue, round campus to University Avenue, turn right on College Avenue, another right on Rollins Street, left on Maryland Avenue and back to the football field. Walkers start at 8:15 a.m.

Before the race, a tent opens for breast cancer survivors and guests near the start with a survivor procession at 7:15 a.m. 

The awards ceremony takes place at 9:30 a.m.

Mid-Missouri’s Race for the Cure is an event four years in the making. In 2006, 16 counties in the area became a part of an affiliate branch of the foundation, which allowed race planning to begin.

“Komen makes you wait quite awhile to get established in a certain area,” said Jackie Verdun, co-chair for the event’s survivor tent. “So for the past four years, that’s what we have been working on. The first year alone we raised $100,000.”

Seventy-five percent of the money raised is donated to education, screening and treatment for area residents.

The remaining 25 percent goes to the corporate pool, which distributes those donations to research facilities across the country, including Ellis Fischel Cancer Center.

This year the local branch is trying to raise $150,000. 

“We’re about 75 percent of the way there,” said Johanna Cox-Littrell, race chair for the 2010 event. “Many people will be inspired to donate at the race.”

Cox-Littrell said college students in general are eager to get involved, which prompted the decision to hold the race while school was in session.

“The fact that we have so many colleges in the 16-county area, we knew we’d have an incredible response,”she said.

Donations will be accepted until Oct. 19.

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