Breast cancer run raises awareness plus money
The 19th annual Breast Cancer Run was a brilliant field of pink, the color of breast cancer awareness, from the two- and four-legged athletes to the marimba band, Shamwari, to the patches of fireweed along the course.
“We were delighted to have a total of 83 participants in the 2013 Breast Cancer 5-mile run and 1-mile walk,” said Heather O’Connor, executive director of Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic, sponsor of the event.
The 2012 event drew 80 participants and O’Connor said the goal for 2013 was to exceed that. While Sunday’s cloudy skies and occasional rain may have kept some away, there still was a good turnout.
“The generosity and support from our community never ceases to amaze me,” said Jillian Rogers, run coordinator. “It was a pleasure working toward this goal and Sunday did not disappoint. Despite the weather, people showed up, as they always do, in fine Homer style.”
The run also was a success in terms of its fundraising effort.
“The event raised almost $6,000, which will support our low- and no-cost breast cancer screening and mammography program for women right here in our community,” said O’Connor, acknowledging the group effort required. “We’re especially grateful to this year’s Run Planning Committee Andrew Haas, Hannah Heimbuch, Dorothy Melambianakis, Megan Palma, Melon Purcell, Jillian Rogers, Morgan Sicilia and Liz Villarreal. Their time and talents made the 19th Annual Breast Cancer Run a fun and meaningful tribute.”
Mike Peterson was the first runner across the Bishop’s Beach finish line with a time of 34:51.
“The other runners must have been sand-bagging it,” said Peterson of his fast pace.
Mary Kate Green was the first woman to reach the finish line. She finished in a time of 37:41.
“I couldn’t have done it without Hanna (Johnson),” said Green of her running partner who was a mere seven seconds behind her. “She kept saying, ‘Don’t stop.’”
Although participants in the one-mile walk weren’t timed, Derek Bynagle, his son Johannes and daughter Etta gave it a full-speed running finish. Bynagle’s wife, Katie, ran the course, finishing in 39:48. Like other athletes, the family wore pink, with Katie Bynagle sporting a costume in the shape of a pink ribbon created by staff of South Peninsula Hospital’s radiology department.
Happy to have found the finish line after taking a wrong turn were youngsters Seamus McDonough, 8, his sister, Bea, 6, and Eryn Field, 8, trailed by Seamus and Bea’s dad, Thomas.
“We had a friend who picked up the kids after they were halfway down Pioneer Avenue and drove them back to Islands and Ocean and they finished up from there,” said Thomas McDonough. “It was definitely more than one mile.”
One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, said O’Connor, “but early detection is saving lives.”
To learn more about breast cancer screening, contact KBFPC at 235-3436.
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