October 8, 2012
More than pink and prizes: Annual Fun Run raises money,
awareness, and spirits….WITH SLIDE SHOW
Sun Realty parking lot in Avon was awash in a sea of pink on Saturday
morning, Oct. 6, as nearly 130 people—sporting all manner of rosy
regalia in honor of breast cancer awareness month—gathered for the
ninth annual Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation Fun Run.
The race began with a symbolic dove release ceremony. Liz Browning of
Hatteras Doves released three baskets of her highly-trained homing
pigeons—one basket representing loved ones who lost their battle with
cancer, one in support of those who are fighting or have fought the
disease and won, and one in appreciation of friends, family members,
and medical personnel who give care and support to cancer patients.
As the doves found their way home, participants found their way to the
starting line at the entrance to the Kinnakeet Shores subdivision, and
soon they were off to the races.
Some fleet-footed participants bolted through the neighborhood,
completing the race’s 3.1-mile course in just over 18 minutes. Others
took their time, enjoying the perfect fall day by walking the course
with friends and family.
Every finisher earned a medal, and once everyone had returned to the
Sun Realty parking lot—where they were welcomed by music from Jamie
Markley, barbecue from Crazy Johnny’s BBQ, hot dogs from the sixth
grade class at Cape Hatteras Secondary School, baked goods from local
church organizations, and a bounce house provided by Frisco Mini Golf
and Go Karts—Cancer Foundation volunteers and organizers announced the
winners of the race and doled out their prizes.
This year, pink-ribboned medals were given to the first, second, and
third place finishers in each of four divisions: men, women, boys 18
and under, and girls 18 and under. And, as part of their effort to
increase participation in breast cancer awareness month, the foundation
gave out two awards for the “most pinked-out” adult and child.
This year’s race saw some stiff competition, some surprise victories, and the emergence of some fresh talent.
Claudia Caldwell, 11, surprised her friends and family -- and maybe
even herself -- by taking first place in the girls 18 and under
She had never raced before and hadn’t been running much, but, perhaps
inspired by her older sister, Myra—a strong runner for the high
school’s cross country team -- Claudia decided that she wanted to run
Saturday’s race. It was an impressive debut. She managed to keep pace
with much older, more experienced runners, winning not only a
first-place medal, but also a lot of respect.
The other big surprise this year was that, for the first time in eight
years, Keith Gray, the owner of Diamond Shoals Restaurant, did not take
His time of 18:53—which still seems practically inhuman to us
slow-pokes—earned him second place this year, behind Steve Crowder and
his blistering 18:07 finish.
To be fair, though, there are far, far worse ways to end an eight-year
winning streak than coming in second behind a guy like Crowder.
Crowder, 39, of Fincastle, Va., is something of a professional runner,
and he is currently sponsored by Brooks, a well-known shoe and apparel
company that focuses heavily on running gear.
And for his part, Crowder was very gracious toward Gray and his performance.
“I won the Colony Lost and Found 5k in Manteo while we were down here
last October,” he said, “and met Keith Gray, the gentleman who finished
second, then. He's a very good runner and took the pace out pretty fast
this Saturday, so he made me do some work, which isn't a bad thing...I
was fortunate to be able to run well enough to get the win.”
It was a fun, festive event, and, in the end, it raised nearly $7,700 for the Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation.
But it wasn’t just about pink and prizes.
According to foundation vice-president Donna Barnett, the Hatteras
Island Cancer Foundation—an all-volunteer organization whose principal
mission is to offer financial assistance to Hatteras Island cancer
patients and their families—has given more than $500,000 to more than
100 community families.
The Fun Run is just one of the groups’s annual fundraising events, but
it has become one of the most important—not only because of the funds
it raises, but because of what it has come to mean to the community it
There were, of course, many who were there on Saturday just for the
chance to race, but many others were there to honor friends and loved ones who had battled cancer, survived cancer, or were
currently struggling through it.
Jennifer Johnson and Kristen Gray, both of Hatteras, were two such participants.
Gray said that she was walking in honor of quite a few people, and in
particular, her mother-in-law, Alice Gray, who died of breast
Her 11-year-old son Dylan also ran for Alice Gray—and he won a third-place medal in his grandmother’s honor.
But walking in memory of her mother-in-law was not the only reason Gray
signed up. She was also there to walk alongside of—and in support
of—her lifelong best friend, Jennifer Johnson, whose mother, Barbara
McDowell Foster, is still fighting what has been a long war with
metastatic breast cancer.
Johnson said that she participated in the Fun Run not just to honor the
strength of her mother’s spirit, but also to support the foundation.
Though she and her family have been fortunate enough not to need the
foundation’s services, Johnson knows first-hand what cancer can take
out of patients and their families—emotionally, physically, and
financially—and she said she has a lot of appreciation for the
foundation and the work that they do.
“It’s an amazing group of hard-working people who do a great service
and have helped a multitude of people,” she said. “At least someone
from our family walks or runs [in the Fun Run] every year.”
“My favorite year,” she added, “was the year my mom was able to walk with us.”
In many ways, the Fun Run has become much more than a race. It has
become an outlet for lots of people, from lots of different communities
to come together—in support of cancer patients, in support of one
another, and in support of an organization that has helped so many.
As Crowder put it, “I think all of us know someone who has been
affected by cancer, so it's nice to be part of something that raises
money for a group that helps cancer victims.”
2012 Fun Run Winners
1st Place: Steve Crowder, 18:07
2nd Place: Keith Gray, 18:53
3rd Place: Paul Ranno, 22:44
1st Place: Angela Cothern, 23:10
2nd Place: Leslie Kelch, 27:41
3rd Place: Maria Ballance, 28:16
Boys 18 and Under Division
1st Place: Jonah Dixon
2nd Place: Noah Ranno
3rd Place: Dylan Gray
Girls 18 and Under Division
1st Place: Claudia Caldwell
2nd Place: Kaylee Barnett
3rd Place: Emmiline Baker
Adult: Melinda Baker
Child: Emmiline Baker
If you missed the Fun Run, but would like to support the foundation,
there are still T-shirts available for purchase. The cost is $10.
Contact Donna Barnett for more information. You can e-mail her at [email protected]. And you can contribute on the cancer foundation website, www.hicf.org.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW SLIDE SHOW
Risky Business Seafood • Shipwreck Grill • Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative
Road’s End Gallery/Happy Belly Ice Cream • Trisha Midgett, Midgett Realty
Hatteras Realty • Avon Property Owners’ Association • Cafe 12 • Village Marina
Carla Reynolds, RE/MAX Ocean Realty • Happy Waters Pool and Spa Services
Dare Building/Custom Kitchens • Frisco Rod and Gun • Askins Creek BP Store
Daniel Pullen Photography • Cape Hatteras Motel • Buxton Village Books
Dixon and Dixon Law Offices • Studio 12 • Albatross Fleet • Mead Slagle, DDS
Izabelle’s Closet • Blue Pelican Gallery • Cape Hatteras Fit Camp
Hatteras Harbor Marina • Kostich & O’Neal • Island Xpertees • Hatteras HI
Island Convenience • Sun Realty • www.islandfreepress.org
Rebel Oilfield Production Services
Burrus Red & White • Hatteras Marlin Club • Conner's Supermarket
Sea Chest • Studio 12 • Spa Koru • Island Convenience • Blue Whale
Hatteras Jack • Cafe 12 • Shoreline • Rodanthe Surf Shop
Village Marina • Food Lion • Subway • Frisco Mini Golf and Go Karts
North Beach Campground • Lee Robinson's General Store