Organizers ready for run this weekend

Nanaimo - Beban Park will be more pink than green Sunday during the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation's CIBC Run for the Cure.

Beban Park’s sports fields will be more pink than green Sunday during the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s CIBC Run for the Cure.

Hundreds of Nanaimoites turn out for the event decked out in pink in support of loved ones who are fighting or have lost the fight with breast cancer.

“We’re expecting about 1,200 people this year,” said Ruth Christmas, volunteer run co-director. “It’s a lot of fun, a lot of excitement on the field that morning. It’s emotional, but it’s an amazing day. So many people are there with their families supporting each other. You see a lot of entertaining costumes, lots of pink everywhere.”

The run is the foundation’s largest single-day, volunteer-led national event in Canada in support of breast cancer research, awareness and education.

More than $30 million was raised during events across the country last year.

The Nanaimo event raised more than $218,000 and it looks like the city will raise at least that this year as well, said Christmas.

“Our goal is to exceed what we did last year,” she said.

The run starts and ends at the soccer field in Beban Park. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., the opening ceremonies start at 9 a.m. and the run – a one- or five-kilometre loop that people can walk or run – starts at 10 a.m.

“It’s totally family-oriented. People bring their dogs, their kids and strollers,” said Christmas. “Lots of people walk the route.”

The event also features face painting, temporary tattoos, snacks courtesy of Thrifty Foods, produce from Windset Farms, balloon animals courtesy of Steve Marshall Ford, entertainment by Zigster the Trickster and a warmup to Zumba, a Latin-music based style of fitness class.

New this year is a minute of silence and then a breast cancer survivor parade as part of the closing ceremonies, she said.

Christmas said participants are also getting more visible this year, with the five-kilometre route taking people onto Labieux Road and then the E&N Trail, when usually the route stays in the park.

People can register at Running Room tomorrow (Sept. 28) from 4-8 p.m. or Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. as well as between 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. at Beban Park on the day of the run. Online registration at www.runforthecure.com is available until Friday.

Christmas said organizers are also looking for more volunteers. To volunteer, please e-mail Kristi at vol_nanaimo@cbcfrun.org.

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