MANCHESTER >> Returning to Riley Rink at Hunter Park, over 800 runners will take part in the annual Susan G. Komen Vermont Race for the Cure on July 23.
To support breast cancer research, Pat Loller, 2015 Survivor of the Year, will attend the race for the 16th year on her team 'Life is Good.' Loller was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000 and was lucky enough to overcome it in three months with radiation therapy. When she started participating in the race, her team grew and grew, and now it's dwindled to her and her husband.
"For me it's very personal, I just feel like I can .advocate for it from a personal perspective," she said. "(My favorite part is) just the hope of everybody who goes, and the optimism and knowing you're helping people."
Loller makes the journey from South Burlington each year.
Of the money raised by the foundation, 75 percent of it stays in Vermont for different organizations that applied for funds to help cancer patients get to appointments or put on conferences. The remaining 25 percent, Loller said, allows for cancer research. Thus far, the 'Life is Good' team has raised about $2,000 through social media, word of mouth and family and friends. 'Life is Good' raised $6,500 at its inception. The entire event has raised about $27,161 out of the desired $50,000, according to the fundraising website. Contributions can still be made after the race date.
After race day, the amount increases to $125,000 taking raffles and silent auctions into account. Terry Farkas, executive director of the Komen's Vermont chapter said that the goal is usually met and has stayed the same within the past five years.
Last year was the first year the course switched from Hildene Farm to Riley Rink. Farkas said that it was a big success after 22 years on the farm. Loller agreed.
"I loved Hildene but the logistics were much better at the new one," Loller said. "The logistics were kind of hard at the old place."
The 24th annual 5K walk or run and 10K run is set for July 23. There will be a kids tent with fun activities and a Kids for the Cure Obstacle Course with a chance to win a full-day Mountain Adventure Pass to Bromley Mountain, valued at $45. Online registration ends on July 21 at 6 p.m. on komenvtnh.org. Folks can still register in person at Riley Rink on July 22 from noon to 6 p.m. as well as on race day from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
The 10K run starts at 8:30 a.m. followed by the 5K run at 8:35 a.m. and the 5K walk at 8:40 a.m. For more information, visit the race website or call 802-362-2733. Currently there are 577 participants and 26 teams registered.
—Makayla-Courtney McGeeney can be reached at (802)-447-7567, ext. 118.