Jay Dix Challenge to Cure run to benefit cancer research

Friday, May 11, 2012 | 4:05 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Come rain or shine, 600 people are expected to participate in the 10th annual Jay Dix Challenge to Cure run Saturday.

Organized by the Columbia Multisport Club, this event will begin at 9 a.m. and finish by 11:30 a.m. The run includes a buffet-style lunch served in the parking lot of Shiloh's Bar and Grill.

Participants can choose from a 5K walk, 5K run or 10K run at Flat Branch Park, located at the corner of Fourth and Cherry streets.

Runners and walkers will be timed using an IPICO Sports tag, which will be attached to their shoes.

For the most part, “it’s just your average Joe runners,” Mackenzie Rickman, a co-director of the race, said about the competitiveness of the race. Rickman noted that the 5K run is the most popular race of the event.

The event is family-oriented, allowing walkers to bring strollers along. It also has a section of the park where children can be supervised while their parents participate in the race.

Columbia Multisport Club started the event in honor of a former member, Jay Dix, who had been a medical examiner and associate professor at MU. Dix, who died from cancer, was always active and exercised four to five times a week, despite having such a busy schedule, according to the Challenge To Cure website.

Not including the upcoming race, Challenge To Cure has raised $145,000 since the first race in 2003. Proceeds and donations from these races go to support cancer research at the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center.

Despite the forecast for storms on Saturday, Rickman isn’t concerned. In the ten years that the race has been occurring, it has rained about five of those 10 times, she said.

“We’ve seen much worse,” Rickman said, recalling times of runners having to make their way through sleet.

The event used to take place in early April but was moved to May to at least make the weather warmer, even if there’s rain, she said.

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