News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

September 30, 2012

PINK POWER

Support follows Race for the Cure to ISU’s Memorial Stadium

TERRE HAUTE — A pink river flowed over the green grass outside Memorial Stadium amid a village of hope on Saturday morning.

The 2012 Susan G. Komen Wabash Valley Race for the Cure got under way with nearly 2,400 participants flooding the organization’s new race site. Wabash Valley affiliate spokeswoman Gwen Hicks said the group ran out of applications early in the morning and was a little surprised at the massive turnout, which organizers deemed a success.

Lorrie Heber, chair of this year’s race and herself a cancer survivor, said moving the event from downtown to the ISU football stadium made for a big difference. As with any move, a small learning curve was involved, but overall the village atmosphere fostered by the stadium was worth it.

“And we’ve learned that we love it,” she said, a pink flower in her hair.

Without traffic to worry about or streets to block, team tents lined the grass outside the stadium. Inside, the race’s finish line could be found at the field’s 50-yard line. A cloudless sky accompanied temperatures in the middle 50s as the race kicked off at 10 a.m., and supporters wore sweatshirts promoting the Race for the Cure.

The Wabash Valley affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure was born in December of 1996 as a small group of volunteers decided to host a race as a fundraiser. Over the course of 16 years, the annual event has grown from 600 participants to 3,200 in 2001. Hicks, one of the original founders, said the Wabash Valley’s spirit is recognized across the country.

“{Nobody’s} been able to top our ribbons on the courthouse,” she said, noting the communitywide support for breast cancer survivors is felt throughout all 12 months of the year. As local organizers attend workshops across the country, they’re reminded of how supportive the Wabash Valley is, she said.

Matthew Janeway said this is his first year on the race committee. The ISU sophomore served as a volunteer last year and wanted to do more.

“It’s just inspiring to work with them every day,” he said, adding that moving the event to Memorial Stadium made logistics much easier to manage.

Hicks said a woman dies of breast cancer every 73 seconds, meaning awareness is always important. In addition to the money raised for cancer research, events such as the Race for the Cure keep women mindful of the need for mammograms.

“I’ve lost too many friends and family to breast cancer,” she said.

Inside the stadium, Terre Haute South Vigo High School’s Kyle Jackson was first to cross the finish line in the 5K race with a time of 18:45. One of his “brothers” on the cross country team lost a mother to breast cancer. And with the team being like a family, he wanted to contribute.

“I wanted to come and do this, to win it in honor of her,” he said.

Brian Boyce can be reached at 812-231-4253 or brian.boyce@tribstar.com.

 

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