Racing Around the World
It’s been another exciting few weeks of raising awareness and funds in support of the breast cancer movement at Races across the country and around the world. We begin this recap very close to where we finished our last recap– back in beautiful Italy.
Racers showed up in record numbers for the 7th annual Komen Italia Bari Race at Piazza Prefettura. Nearly 13,000 participants, an estimated 14 percent increase from last year’s Race, joined actress and Komen Italia’s survivor spokesperson Rosanna Banfi for this year’s event.
In Italy, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® events take place over three days and the Affiliate hosts a “Health Village” two days prior to each Race. At the Health Village, free breast cancer screening is provided to underserved women. During the health village in Bari, 300 underserved women received free mammograms and an estimated five cases of breast cancer were detected.
The following weekend three more races were held, including the 20thannual Susan G. Komen Connecticut Race for the Cure. To celebrate 20 years of racing in Hartford, the over 4,500 participants received a one-of-a-kind Race t-shirt that included pictures of the t-shirts from each of the past Races.
About 7,000 runners also participated in the 16th annual Susan G. Komen South Central Wisconsin Race for the Cure. In addition to their walk or run, those who arrived early at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison could also take advantage of tethered hot air balloon rides.
At the Seattle Center, 9,000 highly motivated runners and walkers kicked off the Susan G. Komen Puget Sound Race for the Cure. Former Seattle Governor Christine Gregoire and breast cancer advocate Mark Goldstein, were two notable additions to the Puget Sound survivor celebration and parade.
Neither soggy ground nor misty weather could deter thousands of racers in North Carolina and New York from putting on pink on June 8. They gathered in Raleigh for the 17th Annual Susan G. Komen NC Triangle Race for the Cure, one day after Tropical Storm Andrea drenched the area with record rainfall.
One notable runner at the NC Triangle Race was Komen Scholar Dr. Kim Blackwell. Dr. Blackwell was featured this year in TIME magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people due to her research into T-DM1 – a breast cancer drug with fewer unpleasant side effects than chemotherapy – which was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Farther north in Buffalo, rain fell but didn’t spoil the 13th annual Susan G. Komen Western New York Race for the Cure. Over 5,500 race participants raised more than $430,000 in the fight against breast cancer.
On the same weekend across the country, it wasn’t the weather that people were talking about. At the North Texas Plano Race for the Cure, it was a 12-year old girl who was the Race’s top fundraiser. Skylar Kaye started a team and raised more than $13,000 in her mother’s honor. Skylar and her mother joined their team to complete the walk on Race day.
In Iowa that weekend, competition was secondary for most of the nearly 8,200 attendees of the 23rd annual Susan G. Komen Quad Cities Race for the Cure. Their first priority was supporting those who have won and lost the fight against breast cancer. Almost 540 of the participants were breast cancer survivors themselves.
We wrapped up nearly a month of racing with three more races; one in Germany and two more in the Mid-West. Over 2,000 participants and nearly 300 survivors attended the 2ndannual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Cologne, Germany. This exceeded the participant goal and was an overall attendance increase of 33 percent.
Light rain fell before this year’s 15th annual Race in St. Louis, but the skies quickly cleared and over 40,000 runners and walkers filled the streets of downtown. St. Louis Rams quarterback, Sam Bradford, and tight end, Jared Cook, were on hand before the Race started. Cook’s mother, Yulinda, a breast cancer survivor, encouraged those battling cancer to “keep pushing forward.” Another survivor, St. Louis resident and longtime breast cancer advocate Susie Knopf was also among those supporting participants. Knopf was recently named as one of two Affiliate Representatives to the Susan G. Komen national board of directors.
Finally, in South Bend, more than 1,400 men and women donned their pink on Saturday for the 5th annual Susan G. Komen Northern Indiana Race for the Cure. After years of snow, rain and sleet, Race organizers moved this year’s event from April to June in hopes of better weather for the event. They were treated not only to better weather, but also increased fundraising amounts. Based on initial counts, the Race is on track to meet its goal of $160,000 according to Sheri Miller Story, Executive Director of Komen Northern Indiana.
Thank you to everyone who ran, walked, volunteered, or cheered in support of any of these great Races. They are so important for women and men across the country, bringing us one step closer to our mutual goal: ending breast cancer forever.
About the author
Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure®, we have invested more than $1.9 billion to fulfill our promise, becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world.