(BLOOMINGTON) - More than 5,000 walkers, runners, survivors and volunteers are expected to participate in the 14th annual Hoosiers Outrun Cancer this Saturday.
The fundraising and awareness event, which last year raised nearly $180,000 for the Indiana University Health Olcott Center for Cancer Education, will consist of a 5K race, 5K walk, 1-mile family walk and 1-mile kids' run -- all of which will start and end outside Indiana University's Memorial Stadium and follow routes through Indiana University's campus.
The event, jointly sponsored by the Bloomington Hospital Foundation and Indiana University Athletics, is billed as Indiana's largest 5K run/walk.
"We are very fortunate that this community supports this event so well every year," said Kim Rudolph, manager of special events for the foundation. "This event has a special aura that is indescribable. That's why so many people come back year after year."
Hoosiers Outrun Cancer is fueled by people who pay a registration fee -- kids younger than 6 are free. The fee is $25 per person, but starting Tuesday, it rises to $30. You can register online at www.hoosiersoutruncancer.org, or from 7:30-9:30 a.m. the day of the event on Memorial Stadium's West Concourse.
Some participants also solicit pledges from their friends and family, but that is not required. All the events begin and end just outside IU's Memorial Stadium. Some use the website to set up a personal fundraising page through the Friends Asking Friends program that features a set of online tools that allow participants to reach out to friends and family through email, Facebook and Twitter.
How it works:
The day will begin with a pre-race opening ceremony starting at 9:30 a.m. when sponsors, cancer survivors and special guests will be recognized; it will end with a post-race awards ceremony when various teams will be recognized and children will have an opportunity to participate in kid-friendly activities.
"Families come with their children and some people bring their dogs," Rudolph said. "There's something for everyone at this event. And because nearly everyone has been touched by cancer in some form, the energy and emotion at this event are incredible."
The 1-mile kids' run will start at 10 a.m., the 1-mile family walk at 10:10 a.m., the competitive 5K run at 10:20 a.m. and the 5K walk at 10:25 a.m.
Some participants, each wearing a red T-shirt, will be cancer survivors. Others will be supporting a friend or loved one battling cancer, or honoring someone who has lost his or her battle with cancer.
When people check in they can pick up a "memory bib" in memory of a loved one who has died from cancer or a "celebration bib" to honor a cancer survivor or someone battling cancer.
They can also carry posters honoring their loved ones, or release balloons in honor of loved ones during the opening ceremony.
How it helps:
The event is the primary funding source for the IU Health Olcott Center for Cancer Education, where registered nurse educators provide one-on-one education with patients and their family members.
The center also offers a lending library, weekly support groups, cancer screenings, health fairs and patient advocacy. All services are free.
This year, between 300 and 400 volunteers will help put on the event by manning registration tables, distributing food and water to participants and setting up cones and barriers along the courses.
Since its inception in 2000, more than 50,000 people have participated in Hoosiers Outrun Cancer, raising more than $2 million.
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