Walk/run draws participants of all ages

They pushed strollers, led dogs and accompanied friends.

Some were runners, some leisurely walkers.

But no matter what the age or athletic ability, all those who came out for the 5K Run/Walk for Cancer Awareness and Prevention Saturday morning had one thing in common aside from their gym clothes and sneakers.

They all knew someone, or were someone affected by cancer.

All competitors had a choice of three signs to wear on the back of the T-shirt provided to them for competing in the run/walk, which started at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Craig Downtown Business Park.

The signs read, "I am dedicating my run walk to ...," "My run walk is in memory of..." and "I am a cancer survivor."

Nine people at the event wore T-shirts that read, "I am dedicating my run walk to Kathie Johnson."

Johnson, who is a Craig resident, was diagnosed with breast cancer in November but received treatment and the cancer is in remission.

Johnson walked along with her army of supporters wearing her own "I am a cancer survivor" T-shirt.

"Pretty much my whole family is here," she said at the conclusion of the event.

Johnson said she felt good after the race.

"My walk went fine I wasn't going to run," she joked. "I've survived enough already."

Craig resident Cole DuBois, 10, was one of the younger participants Saturday. He accompanied other members of his family, dedicating their race to his grandfather, Ron DuBois, who had cancer.

DuBois said he wanted to run Saturday because he thought the message of the run/walk was important, which was to promote cancer awareness and prevention efforts.

Pam Thompson, public relations director at The Memorial Hospital who organized Saturday's event, said 110 people participated.

That number was up significantly from last year's total, which, she estimated, was probably about 50.

That might have been due to the fact that the competitive aspect was taken out of this year's race,

she said.

"Normally we made this an event that was an actual race and was timed with prizes given for the winners of the race," she said.

But Thompson said she decided this year that it wasn't important who crossed the finish line first.

"To me, everyone is a winner that deals with cancer," she said. "We decided at The Memorial Hospital that this race is about a cure not about crossing the finish line first but crossing the finish line."

The money raised from the $10 entry fees will go toward a local cancer support group and cancer awareness programs at the hospital.

For more information about both, people can call Thompson

at 824-3109.

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