Racers raise money for cancer patients

Published 9:59 pm Monday, March 6, 2017

Suffolk residents will race this April Fool’s Day to provide support for hospital patients and raise disease awareness.

Bon Secours Hampton Roads will host its seventh annual Colon Cancer Awareness 5K and One Mile Fun Walk on April 1. Runners and walkers will meet at Bon Secours Health Center at 5818 Harbour View Blvd.

Race-day registration and packet picket-up will begin on-site at 6:30 a.m. One-mile walkers will start at 8 a.m. and 5K runners at 8:30 a.m. The fastest teams and the fastest male and female runners will receive awards.

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Bon Secours spokeswoman and race director Lynne Zultanky said the event will educate racers on colon cancer risks and encourage them to get cancer screenings.

“We know that adults do not do the screenings that they should, and we know from cancer rates that Hampton Roads is an area of cancer hotspots,” Zultanky said.

Zultanky said 82 racers have signed up so far. Nearly 500 registered for the event last year, and the goal this year is 600 total.

“Many of our runners are return runners,” Zultanky said. “Many of the people who come back are for the cause.”

Advance registration is $30, and race-day registration is $35. Racers can sign up in teams of three or more, and each member will receive a $5 registration discount. Proceeds will be donated to the Bon Secours Maryview Foundation Cancer Fund to provide care for colon cancer patients in Suffolk, Portsmouth and Chesapeake.

“Our goal this year is to raise $30,000,” Zultanky said. “We came pretty close to that last year, and we’re hoping to do a little bit better this year.”

She said there will be April Fool’s Day fun on race day, but that the event’s purpose is no joke. Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in the country. One in 20 people will be diagnosed with it.

“Don’t fool around with colon cancer,” Zultanky said. “Get screened and help other people learn about early detection of colon cancer by coming out. You don’t have to be a fast runner. Just come out with the right attitude and have a good time.”

For registration and other information, go online at BonSecours.com/colon5k.