People with facial hair of all varieties gathered Saturday for the first ever 'Stache Dash 5K, held by the Student Unions Programming Board. The race aimed to raise awareness for prostate cancer.
“I think (prostate cancer)’s a lot more common than people realize,” SUPB Student Enrichment Committee director Paige Foerstel said. “Through organizing this event we’ve realized how many people’s families have been affected by it.”
Many people partake in No Shave November or Movember without really knowing what the cause is, Foerstel said. By giving away blue mustache shirts to the first 100 racers to register, the ‘Stache Dash provided a reminder prostate cancer is a pertinent issue. The shirts read, “Prostate cancer has a 99 percent survival rate when detected early."
“Prostate cancer is an unspoken thing in comparison to breast cancer,” alumnus Kevin Stark said. “People are less vocal about prostate cancer.”
For some, an event about men’s health was a welcome change from breast cancer awareness functions.
“We like to run, and there are few events for men’s health awareness,” medical student Moselle Stark said. “It’s also hard to find free races.”
Community members of all ages, as well as a few of their canine friends, came out to support the cause. A total of 109 runners took their mark in front of Memorial Union and ran a route that took them by University Hospital, across campus and through downtown Columbia. Racers crossed the finish line in front of the MU Student Center.
After the race, participants were invited to an awards reception with refreshments at The Shack. A contest was held for best facial hair during the gathering.
“The goal of (the Student Enrichment Committee) is to try and organize events that have some sort of takeaway from them, so either they’re educational or teach you a new skill," Foerstel said. "This one raises awareness.”