More than 80 runners and walkers participate in the 2013 Breast Cancer Run. This year’s run and ride is Sunday at Mariner Park. Registration is at 8 a.m. The race starts at 9 a.m.-Photo by McKibben Jackinsky, Homer News

More than 80 runners and walkers participate in the 2013 Breast Cancer Run. This year’s run and ride is Sunday at Mariner Park. Registration is at 8 a.m. The race starts at 9 a.m.-Photo by McKibben Jackinsky, Homer News

Homer goes pink for annual breast cancer run, ride

Light pink flags. Dark pink flags. Big flags flying from businesses. Small flags flying from vehicles. No matter the shade or shape, they carry the same message: It’s time for the annual Homer Breast Cancer Run and Ride.

Begun in 1994, the event is sponsored by Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic. This year’s run and ride is Sunday, with registration at 8 a.m. and the race start at 9 a.m. at Mariner Park.

“We’re thrilled that this is the 20th anniversary of the Homer Breast Cancer Run,” said Heather O’Connor, KBFPC director.

To celebrate two decades of raising funds to help local women access breast cancer screening, treatment, education and other support services at no cost, KBFPC organizers have given the event a new shape.

“We were one of the first runs that happened here 20 years ago and it seems to have become popular to do runs through town,” said Mary Lou Kelsey, a member of KBFPC’s board of directors, who, along with Susan Kaplan, is coordinating this year’s run-ride. “We thought it would be fantastic to use the beach and make it attractive to even out-of-towners or others who like beach runs. We also wanted to include fat-tire bikes, a group that actively supports the clinic.”

Timed around Sunday morning’s minus 4.3 tide, the run-ride begins at Mariner Beach. A one-mile course will proceed a half mile toward the end of the Spit before looping a half mile back to the finish line. For those doing the five mile distance, they also begin at Mariner Beach, continue two miles toward the end of the Spit, loop back to Mariner Beach and finish with the one-mile course.

“Because it’s a beach run, I think it will attract other folks that just like to do more cross-country running and biking,” said Kelsey.

Early Sunday morning, as the tide goes out, Andy Haas of Kachemak Bay Running Club will set the course and Kelsey will mark it with pink flags. Haas also has volunteered to build a few small bridges to help runners stay dry-footed crossing some of the small outflows in the area.

“People may get the bottom of their feet wet in some of those spots, but none of them are going to get wet other than that,” said Kelsey.

The course also is perfect for spectators.

“The one mile is right out in front, so from Mariner Beach we’ll be able to see all the runners and bikers,” said Kelsey.

Walkers, as well as runners or walkers pushing strollers, also are invited to participate. Tents will mark the start-finish line, with “some great morning-type food and drink, a little celebration for after and door prizes,” said Kelsey.

Advance registration can be done online at kbfpc.org. In-person registration on Sunday begins at 8 a.m., with the run-ride starting at 9 a.m. Registration for participants 12 years of age and older is a $35 donation. Kids younger than 12 are free and encouraged to participate “whether they’re in strollers or walking the one-mile with their families,” said Kelsey. Dogs on leashes also are welcome. 

The event has raised between $6,000 and $10,000 in past years, according to O’Connor.

“Much of that comes from ongoing support from loyal local businesses that donate each and every year, and have been for 20 years now,” she said.

That’s where Kaplan, KBFPC’s women’s health outreach manager, comes in. Not only does Kaplan spread the word about the services the clinic offers, she also secures sponsors for the run-ride. Donors — businesses, organizations and individuals — get their choice of a dark or light pink flag to fly as a sign of their support. 

“I’m getting a great response. … It’s very exciting,” said Kaplan. “People want to be able to help. It’s not like we’re asking for a huge commitment, just a donation toward our effort. As usual, Homer is coming through.”

In addition to financial support, local businesses also have “been very generous with in-kind donations” said Kaplan. “We’ll have some great raffle items and some wonderful door prizes.”

Breast cancer is the second-most common, newly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death among women in the United States, according to statistics provided by the American Cancer Society. More than 2.7 million women in the United States have a history of breast cancer; one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lives, said O’Connor.

Since KBFPC opened in 1996, it has provided free annual health checks for women ages 21-64 through the Alaska Breast and Cervical Health Check Program. A partnership between KBFPC and South Peninsula Hospital provides “no-cost mam
mograms for an average 200 women in our community each year,” said O’Connor. “We believe that inability to pay should never be a barrier to getting these crucial healthcare services.”

Believing that early detection is the key and that mammograms can help detect breast cancer at its earliest and most treatable stage, KBFPC provided 613 clinical breast exams and 164 mammograms in 2013. 

“Our goal is to ensure continued access to no-cost breast cancer screening services, honor our loved ones who are or have been affected by breast cancer, and have fun,” said O’Connor.

For more about the Homer Breast Cancer Run and Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic, visit kbfpc.org or call 235-3436.

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben.jackinsky@homernews.com.


20th annual Homer Breast Cancer Run-Ride

1-mile and 5-mile loop 

Where: Mariner Beach

When: 9 a.m. Sunday

Registration:

$35 donation for age 12 and older

Register online: kbfpc.org

Register Sunday: 8 a.m.

Runners, walkers, strollers and dogs on leash welcome

More information: 

kbfpc.org or 235-3436


More in Sports

Soldotna junior Liam Babitt holds a grip on South Anchorage’s Britten Hamilton during the 215-pound final of the Lancer Smith Fall Varsity 2021 Invite on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2021 at the Menard Arena in Wasilla, Alaska. (Photo by Jeremiah Bartz/Frontiersman)
Soldotna crowns 4 champions at Lancer Smith

The Soldotna wrestling team finished fourth Friday and Saturday at the Lancer… Continue reading

Ice sits ready to skate at Bottenintnin Lake in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska on Nov. 1, 2020. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Tangled Up in Blue: Skipping skating

I was looking forward to ice skating this winter. I had bought… Continue reading

Fall colors, a dog and game in hand make for great outdoor experiences on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo by Colin Canterbury/USFWS)
Refuge Notebook: On point this fall

His eyes were fixated on the white spruce before us. We knew… Continue reading

Mariner's Micah Williamson steals the puck from the Warrior's Karson McGrew as he advances down the rink. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Hockey roundup: West wins End of Road tourney

End of the Road Tournament The West hockey team won the End… Continue reading

Sports in brief

Hockey Upcoming meets: 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18: Kenai vs. West, End… Continue reading

Alaska Olympic Development Program 2008 boys team featuring Gunnar Pinsky, Beau Miller and Kai Waltenbaugh (Photo provided by Breanna Hill)
Homer soccer players compete on Alaska Olympic Development team

Seven Homer soccer players are making their national and international debut after… Continue reading

Homer’s Gracie Gummer goes up for a kill against Kenai blockers Calani Holmes and Emma Beck during the 3A state volleyball consolation game at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage, Alaska, on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai takes 2nd, Homer nabs 3rd at state volleyball

The Kenai Kardinals volleyball team fell narrowly to the Valdez Buccaneers in… Continue reading

Kenai Central’s Ayden Spann skates the puck across the blue line during a 4-1 loss to Colony during the second day of the 2021 Alaska Army National Guard Stars and Stripes Showdown on Friday, Nov.12, 2021, at the MTA Events Center in Palmer, Alaska. (Photo by Jeremiah Bartz/Frontiersman)
Kenai, SoHi, Homer finish up play at Stars and Stripes

The Homer and Soldotna hockey teams finished with 1-2 records at the… Continue reading

A Soldotna Stars wrestler goes for the pin against a Homer Mariners wrestler during the Best Western Bidarka Round Robin Rumble on Friday and Saturday in Homer. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Soldotna wrestlers win Round Robin Rumble

The Soldotna wrestling team cruised to the team title in the Best… Continue reading

Most Read