By MIRANDA BAINES
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
A Halloween-themed race set to start at 9 a.m. Saturday will have people “running for their life.”
“Run For Your Life” is a first-time 5K and 1-mile fun run to raise money for the Edgecombe Cancer Support Foundation. The event will begin at the Town Common and go down Saint David Street, through a nature trail on Panola and the surrounding Panola Farms.
“We thought it was a good idea to host this type of 5k and one-mile event in the fall, since the spring is full of activity,” said Erin Grimsley, member of the board of directors for the Edgecombe Cancer Support Foundation. “We thought October would be a great time because the weather’s still nice, and Halloween’s just around the corner, so we can make it Halloween-inspired.
"People are urged, if they would like, to dress up. We should see lots of fun costumes out there.”
The run/ walk is for everyone from avid, competitive runners to casual walkers. Strollers are allowed in the 1-mile fun run only.
The 5K will be timed with medal awards given to runners with the fastest times at the end. Portrayed on the medal awards is a spooky theme featuring a skeleton with a graveyard, a witch on a broomstick and bats flying in the background.
Another fun offering at Saturday’s event is a Halloween costume contest, with prizes.
Same-day registration at the race is available; those wishing to register should arrive at about 8 a.m. The cost of registration is $25 for the 5K and $15 for the fun run. Cash and checks will be accepted.
As of Thursday, Grimsley said about 150 people, including people from as far away as western North Carolina, had pre-registered for the event.
“There’s been a lot of community participation, as well as local businesses sponsoring the event,” Grimsley said.
Run For Your Life is the first major fundraiser for the Edgecombe Cancer Support Foundation. The mission of the 501©(3) is to financially assist cancer patients in the county.
“Cancer is now the No. 1 leading cause of death in Edgecombe County,” said Dr. Mark Petruzziello, chair of the foundation’s board of directors. “We’re above average in our cancer incidence rates.”
Petruzziello and his wife Pat, brainchild and director of the run/ walk, could think of no better way to raise awareness of cancer than to get the community involved in a healthy event to raise funds for cancer patients.