BY JOHN H. WALKER
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
A chilly Saturday morning greeted a Town Common full of Halloween-costumed men women and children as the first-ever “Run For Your Life” 5K and one-mile fun run to raise money for the Edgecombe Cancer Support Foundation had a successful beginning.
In addition to the runs and costume competiton, a number of booths were also set up where organizations could provide individuals with health-related materials.
“Run For Your Life” was the first major fundraiser for the Edgecombe Cancer Support Foundation. The mission of the 501(c)(3) foundation 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.”
“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 foundation board member Erin Grimsley. “We thought October would be a great time because the weather’s still nice, and Halloween’s just around the corner, so we could make it Halloween-inspired.
Participants bought in to the idea of a costumed race, with all sorts of characters portrayed, from tiny superheroes to hefty males in tutus.
The run/ walk was designed for everyone, from avid, competitive runners to casual walkers. Strollers were also allowed in the fun run only.
Entrants in the 5K were timed with medals given to the top finishers.
More than 150 persons pre-registered, including competitors from other parts of the state.
“There was a lot of community participation, as well as local businesses sponsoring the event,” Grimsley said.