Scores of runners and walkers will start circling Whitman College’s Ankeny Field at noon on Dec. 4 for the second annual Cancer Awareness Run. The duration of the event – a full 1,440 minutes or 24 hours – is a respectful nod to the devastating disease.
“Cancer doesn’t take breaks; neither will we,” said Scott Shields, Whitman’s head men's and women's cross-country coach. “Time is precious to those battling cancer, and in a move of solidarity with those who suffer, we’re dedicating 24 hours to raising money for the cause.”
That cause is the National Brain Tumor Society, the organization that will benefit from the funds raised at this year’s event. The National Brain Tumor Society is the largest nonprofit in the U.S. dedicated to brain cancer research and treatment. They work to improve the lives of those affected by brain tumors.
“This particular organization resonates with the Whitman College cross-country team because one of our teammates lost her father to brain cancer,” Shields said.
If someone close to you has battled cancer, you can offer their name as part of the event’s “Who do you run for?” charge. “Those who have suffered give us a reason to run,” said cross-country team member Ellie Patterson ’16. “Each lap we run will be in honor of a past or present cancer patient.”
The event organizers have developed several ways for the public to participate in the event either by running, walking, offering a name, donating or cheering on the participants from the sidelines. Runners or walkers can choose a time to run between noon on Thursday, Dec. 4 and noon on Friday, Dec. 5. It can be as little as half an hour, or as long as you want. Those who choose to donate can do so in person at Reid Campus Center between 12 noon and 1 p.m. from Dec. 1 to 3, in person at the 24-hour event, or online.
For each $1 donation, a runner or walker agrees to complete 10 laps around Ankeny, the large field central to the Whitman College campus. More donations equal more laps by Whitman’s cross-country team or community participants. For more information on the event or to participate in one of the ways described above, call (509) 527-5414 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.