Posts tagged with 5k

Colorful 5k draws thousands to downtown Lawrence

Volunteers spray runners with yellow chalk dust at the first color station during the color run in downtown Lawrence Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012.

Volunteers spray runners with yellow chalk dust at the first color station during the color run in downtown Lawrence Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012. by John Young

Yellow haze.

Tara Gregg says that’s about the best way to describe the half-block of New Jersey Street in front of Van Go Inc., 715 N.J., on Saturday afternoon. Gregg was there, spraying the yellow.

“Some people were a little freaked out, but others wanted as much color as possible,” she said.

Gregg is an AmeriCorps volunteer at Van Go and signed up to be one of the color applicators in Color Zone 1 during Lawrence’s first Color Run, a 5K race started last year by a company in Colorado. What made this run different? The sprays of colored cornstarch and the boast that it’s “the happiest run in the world.”

Des Moines, Iowa, Cincinnati and Tuscaloosa, Ala., all had color runs Saturday, too. But before Lawrence’s race started, it was the best — at least in terms of participating. National organizer Chiara Fronce said that nearly 7,000 people had shown up by 3 p.m.

Amy Shannon came from Iola to participate, by way of Humboldt, where she’d already done one 5K earlier in the day. But that one didn’t involve a white, pigtailed wig and frilly tutu.

“We wanted to do this to dress up — we’re crazy like that,” she said.

Sam and Karen Sutton, of Topeka, were a little more excited about the running than the color. It was Sam’s first 5K and Karen’s attempt to get back into racing. They weren’t quite as colorful as some — at the color stations, most people had to stop running to get covered with the powdery spray.

“It seemed to be more about having fun, for most people,” Karen said. “But it was fun. And it got a lot of people out of the house and active.”

For the record, Gregg said, the powder didn’t hurt or aggravate her eyes. But she wasn’t running, she admitted. The only bummer to the vivacious, colorful party? It was just cold.

The first group of runners start the Color Run Lawrence, a 5K run, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012. The runners ran through four color zones where they were sprayed with colored powder before returning to the finish line downtown.

The first group of runners start the Color Run Lawrence, a 5K run, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012. The runners ran through four color zones where they were sprayed with colored powder before returning to the finish line downtown. by Mike Yoder

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Lung Hill Run to benefit lung cancer research, help break disease’s stigma

Did you know that lung cancer is the number one cancer killer in the United States? This year lung cancer will kill nearly twice as many women as breast cancer and more than three times as many men as prostate cancer, an average of 439 people each day, yet lung cancer research received less than five percent of the National Cancer Institute's budget in recent years. And did you know that one in ten men and one in five women who develop lung cancer are non-smokers?

The money raised by the Lung Hill Run, which will take place Nov. 13 in Kansas City, Mo., and is sponsored by LUNGevity, will not only go to lung cancer research but also towards education and awareness of lung cancer, both of which are essential to break down the stigma that surrounds this terrible disease.

My mother was part of the 20 percent of lung cancer victims who never smoked. My mother, who was an RN and pioneered hospice and palliative care in our small, rural Missouri county, was also never exposed to second-hand smoke, yet the stigma of lung cancer was always there. It was there on the face of strangers with good intentions of providing support when they found out that she wasn't a breast cancer patient but a lung cancer patient. It was there in the voice of the summer camp counselor who asked me if my mom's illness was deterring me from ever smoking. Lung cancer patients are already fighting for their lives, they don't need to fight against an ignorant public who judges them for getting a disease that could truly strike anyone at any time.

My best friend has already signed up to participate in the 5K competition in memory of my mother and I've volunteered my time to work at water stations and registration booths. For more information on the race, including how to register and/or volunteer, visit the Lung Hill Run website.

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KU graduate talks about work in impoverished area of Tanzania, how Lawrence fundraiser will help

Jenny Peck and Geoff Knight, both Kansas University graduates, are pictured in a village in Mufindi, Tanzania, where they work. In March 2011, they stood in front of a house where women gather to weave baskets. All of the women are HIV positive or are caring for children who are orphans because of HIV. Their baskets will be sold during a fundraising event Saturday evening at The Oread.

Jenny Peck and Geoff Knight, both Kansas University graduates, are pictured in a village in Mufindi, Tanzania, where they work. In March 2011, they stood in front of a house where women gather to weave baskets. All of the women are HIV positive or are caring for children who are orphans because of HIV. Their baskets will be sold during a fundraising event Saturday evening at The Oread.

Two Kansas University graduates are working to improve the lives of people in Mufindi, Tanzania, where poverty and HIV are prevalent.

Jenny Peck, 28, and her husband, Geoff Knight, 29, have been working in the country since 2008, and they enjoy it.

“It is very different, but it’s a very wonderful place to live,” she said. “The poverty level there is outstanding, and yet you go visit a home and they will go to their gardens and give you whatever they can. They will send you home with a chicken or a bag of potatoes just for visiting.”

The two work for a nongovernmental organization called Foxes Community and Wildlife Conservation Trust. It was founded in 2005 to:

• Provide shelter, education and medical care for orphans and foster families.

• Curtail the spread of HIV-AIDS.

• Teach life skills such as language, financial, vocational and self-sufficiency.

• Create hope for future generations.

Geoff Knight, a Kansas University graduate, met with women in Mufindi, Tanzania, who make baskets to earn income. These women are either HIV positive or caring for children who are orphans because of HIV.

Geoff Knight, a Kansas University graduate, met with women in Mufindi, Tanzania, who make baskets to earn income. These women are either HIV positive or caring for children who are orphans because of HIV.

Knight oversees building projects and makes sure donations are being allocated correctly to the projects that they were earmarked for.

Peck manages a children’s village, where children live if they are orphans or their parents are unable to care for them. There are about 60 children living there now.

She also is community outreach coordinator, and among her duties are educating women about HIV and getting tested. She said 45 percent of women, ages 20-60, are HIV positive there.

Peck said the organization has a program that provides milk powder to women who are HIV positive.

“There are no cows in our area. There’s no goats to provide milk, so we have to resort to milk powder,” she said. “It’s very, very expensive. One can lasts maybe three to four days for an infant and one can costs $12 to $15 — no villager is going to be able to afford that. It may be half of their monthly salary.”

Jenny Peck, a Kansas University graduate, is holding Melania, one of the children at the children's village in Mufini, Tanzania. They were at a clinic where Melania was getting tested for HIV/AIDS. She was negative.

Jenny Peck, a Kansas University graduate, is holding Melania, one of the children at the children's village in Mufini, Tanzania. They were at a clinic where Melania was getting tested for HIV/AIDS. She was negative.

Knight’s family, who lives in Lawrence, and other local friends have organized “Mufindi Day in Lawrence” on Saturday to help raise money for the organization. Peck said the money will help provide milk powder and a new home-based care program. The program will train Tanzanians, who have little or no medical background, to provide HIV education and testing during home visits.

Peck and Knight work with about 35,000 people in 16 villages, and there is no hospital or medical center. There are just five dispensaries that provide very basic care. She said women often have their children at home.

“There’s no health care in our area right now that is appropriate,” she said.

But, she said, plans are under way to build a health center and hospital, and they are raising money.

Peck said her work is like a dream come true. It’s the kind of work that she’s wanted to do since she was 12.

After graduating from KU, she joined the Peace Corps and was assigned to Mufindi. While there, she met the founders of Foxes Community and Wildlife Conservation Trust.

Knight and Peck dated for about one and a half years while at KU.

“Geoff followed me all the way around the world," she said. Now, they have two children, ages 17 months and 10 weeks.

“We love it. If it were up to us, we would spend the rest of our life there trying to create projects that are sustainable for the community,” she said. “But if we do our jobs successfully, they won’t need us anymore.”


MUFINDI DAY IN LAWRENCE

Lawrence residents have organized a 5K race and “Cocktails for a Cause” on Saturday, May 14, to provide care for people in Mufindi, Tanzania.

The 5K race begins at 8 a.m. at Hollywood Southwind 12 Theatre, 3433 Iowa. Cost is $25 and then $30 on race day. It is a timed race, and there will be medals and refreshments.

Pre-register and packet pickup will be from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday at Gary Gribbles Running Store, 839 Mass. Race day registration and packet pickup is from 6:45 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. at the theater. For more information or to register online, visit mufindiorphanslawrence.com.

“Cocktails for a Cause and Silent Auction” will be from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at The Oread, 1200 Oread Ave. The silent auction will include local items as well as woven baskets, textiles, jewelry and other crafts made by the people of Mufindi. The Oread is donating a portion of proceeds from each “Mufindi Martini” to the cause.

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Upcoming Running Events in Lawrence

Here are two upcoming runs in Lawrence, one in July and one in September:

The Mass Street Mile will be held in downtown Lawrence on July 4th with the first heat starting at 9am. This is open to all ages and abilities and is going to be put on in conjunction with the Tour of Lawrence bike races that weekend. Participants will enjoy a certified 1 mile course that will be divided up in three heats. Awards will be given out to top 3 male/female in each age divisions. There will also be awards to the fastest male/female time and the top Master male/female time. All participants will receive a great Mass Street Mile official tee shirt and chip timing. Registration forms can be picked up at Garry Gribble's Running Sports at 839 Mass street or online at www.massstreetmile.com Questions can be asked by emailing dj.hilding@gmail.com or at www.kcrunningcompany.com.

Looking ahead for an autumn run? The 2nd Annual Head for the Cure 5k-Lawrence will be on Sunday morning on September 26th. This run benefits the Chris Anthony Brain Tumor Research Fund, Brain Tumor Trials Collaborative and Solace House, so come out to support a good cause. There were over 250 runners last year for the 5k and they are hoping to build on that number this year. The race will again take place at the YSI fields in Southwest Lawrence. Information can be found at www.headforthecure.com or by emailing dj.hilding@gmail.com.

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