Ottumwa Park turned pink on Saturday.
The 16th annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure went off without a hitch, said race chair Laurie Hornback, who said she was stress-free in the days leading up to the event thanks to her committee members.
“Last year we had 2,600 people so we’re down a little, but I was very pleased with the way it all went,” Hornback said. “And we had more survivors this year than last year.”
Hornback, who was diagnosed in November 2008 with breast cancer, underwent a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiation and said despite a couple biopsies since — which turned out to be nothing — she is cancer-free.
Mable Hart, this year’s honorary chair, stepped down from the committee this year after being involved for the last 13 years. She kicked off both the one mile and 5K races.
“I’ve loved every minute of it,” Hart said. “I do this with a passion.”
Hart said she first heard about breast cancer when her manager asked her to start a team for the Race for the Cure one year. Ironically enough, the next year Hart herself was the victim.
Hart said no one in her family had ever been diagnosed with breast cancer. She was the first to be diagnosed, followed by her sister.
“Get that mammogram and if you have a question about anything, see your doctor for any kind of lump or bump,” Hart said. “Early detection makes the survival rate a lot better.”
The earlier it’s detected, the easier it is to treat, Hart said.
As the survivors crammed on stage to be recognized at the end of the event, Hart said the stage full of women clad in pink was evidence of an increasing survival rate among breast cancer victims.
Hornback said approximately 2,300 people had registered for the races by the time everything began at 8 a.m.
One group of friends and family, “The Boob Troop,” was in full force, each outfitted with pink tutus.
Michelle Young, of Kirksville, Mo., was just released from oncology after undergoing a preventive double mastectomy after she found out she was going to get breast cancer.
“Early detection is key,” she said, also noting that women should get a second opinion.
Her daughter, Kirstin Young, 6, came up with the idea for the tutus.
Bailey Poolman, of Centerville, said she raced for health, fun and in honor of her grandmother, who beat a rare form of breast cancer after doctors had said her chances were not great.
“I think this race is great for awareness, and it’s fun,” Poolman said. “Fun is always a good way to make people aware.”
Hornback said she will be race chair again next year, and the committees will get the ball rolling again this August for the 2013 event.
“We hope to have more people next year,” Hornback said. “We’re still struggling for that 3,000 mark.
“I want to thank everyone for all their support.”
Ottumwa Park turned pink on Saturday.
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