MARSHALL - Once again, runners will be coming together on Saturday to fight cancer. But there's a special focus this year, organizers said - participants in the Avera Marshall Race Against Breast Cancer will be helping to raise funds for a cancer treatment center in Marshall.
Avera Foundation Executive Director Marty Seifert said event organizers are hoping for a clear day and a good turnout.
"We believe we're going to have a wonderful attendance because of the cancer center," Seifert said.
The official theme of this year's race is "Building Hope." Proceeds from past races have gone toward local cancer treatment and screening programs, but with an ongoing capital campaign to build a cancer institute at Avera Marshall, Seifert said, "it made sense for the proceeds this year to go the cancer center."
Avera Marshall plans to build an estimated $12.9 million facility that will offer radiation, chemotherapy and other treatment services for people in the region. Seifert said so far, the response to the building campaign has been very positive, and the foundation has received a number of large donations from area businesses and families. However, he stressed that a donation doesn't have to be big to make a difference. That's where the Race Against Breast Cancer can help.
"It's a more modestly-priced event," he said, where people can still contribute to the cancer institute.
Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Saturday near the Avera Marshall Morningside Heights entrance. The race begins at 8:30 a.m., rain or shine. As in past years, there will be a 5K and a 10K run, as well as a one-mile walk for cancer survivors and their families and friends.
"That has been a fast-growing part of the event," Seifert said.
Seifert said the running races will use chip timing to record finishing times, and there will be men's and women's divisions in several different age groups.
Advance registration for the race will be open until noon today, but registrations are open the day of the race as well. Advance registration fees are $30 for the 5K and 10K runs and $20 for the survivor, family and friends walk. Registration the day of the race is $40 for the 5K and 10K runs and $25 for the survivor walk.
More information on the Race Against Breast Cancer, including race routes and an online registration form, is available at www.avera.org/marshall. Click on the 2013 Race Against Breast Cancer logo.