Race for the Cure comes to MU

The race raised almost $150,000 to be donated to breast cancer research.

More than 4,000 people participated in the fight against breast cancer by attending the first ever Mid-Missouri Race for the Cure on Sunday morning. The event exceeded participant expectations despite heavy storms, which moved through the area.

“I think with the success of the race you will see more and more people becoming aware of screening, treatment and education options,” founding member Elizabeth Mendenhall said.

The fundraiser raised almost $150,000 to be donated in research for the cure of breast cancer.

Of the proceeds from the race, 75 percent will remain in mid-Missouri to support community projects related to breast health education and breast cancer treatment. The remaining 25 percent will support national research.

“(We’re) not just helping people on a national level with research,” race co-chairwoman Johanna Cox-Littrell said. “(We’re) helping people right here in our back yard.”

Cox-Littrell said she believes giving back to local communities is one of the reasons why Susan G. Komen for the Cure is the number one non-profit organization people are most likely to donate to. The number of people that have been personally affected by the disease also contributes to the fundraisers success.

“There are so many people in the country that have been affected by breast cancer,” Cox-Littrell said. “People are tired of it, and they want to end it and that’s our mission -- our mission is to end breast cancer forever.”

According to the Mid-Missouri Race for the Cure website, Susan G. Komen for the Cure is the global leader of the breast cancer movement and has invested more than $1 billion since its inception in 1982.

“Since 2006, we have granted over $300,000 to underserved and uninsured women and men,” founding member Pam Newman said.

Cox-Littrell said the Athletics Department was especially supportive of the race. The MU women’s golf team, soccer team, basketball team and gymnastics team have all hosted fundraisers in their respective sport to benefit the mid-Missouri affiliate.

“Breast cancer is something that’s going to come whether you want it to or not, just like the rain,” volunteer Eden Slater said. “It’s just nice to see all the people coming out for a good cause, and as a volunteer it makes me happy to just feel like I’m doing something that’s benefiting people.”

Runners lined up between Faurot Field and the Hearnes Center to begin the race, moved through campus following Tiger Avenue to Rollins Street. The race went north on College Avenue, then looped back across University Avenue and Elm Street before returning the runners to Faurot Field via Tiger Avenue.

The finish line set up on the track inside the stadium was crowded with family members and media as runners and walkers finished the 5K race.

The first survivor to cross the finish line was Katie Sutton, who joked after the race about running through the rain.

“(The rain) made it a little tricky because we didn’t know when they would actually start the race, so we pretty much had no warm up,” Sutton said. “It made it hurt a little bit more, but that’s OK -- it doesn’t hurt as bad as chemo.”

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