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Runners fight rain to help battle cancer

Meghan Wons | Monday, September 25, 2006

Members of Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s, Holy Cross and the local community laced up their running shoes and hit the rainy road for the 24th annual Domer Run Saturday – logging miles and contributing to a good cause.

The run benefited ovarian cancer awareness and education and was in memory of Barbara Link, who battled ovarian cancer before passing away in 2003, and Ruth Bautel, a former member of the Domer Run committee.

Link was a Notre Dame alumna and the wife of Notre Dame Law School Dean Emeritus Dave Link.

Participants had the option of running a three or six-mile course, or completing a two-mile fun walk.

“We were pretty much right on target [in terms of number of participants] from where we were last year,” said Greg Weber, an intern at RecSports and member of the Domer Run Committee. “From our final tally, we had a total of 483 participants … pretty good considering the race day weather conditions.”

According to Weber, the three-mile run drew the highest number of participants, and female undergraduate students had the highest overall representation at the event.

Freshman Michael Rose was the overall and men’s undergraduate winner in the three-mile run with a time of 17:31. Olenka Bilyk won the women’s undergraduate division with a time of 21:41.

Dan McGrath, a graduate student, was the overall winner in the six-mile run with a time of 31:23. Senior Jen Richard was the first woman to cross the finish line in the six-mile run with a time of 39:48.

Weber said the Domer Run Committee, including members of RecSports, the Alumni Association and the Women’s Task Force – as well as other volunteers – helped to staff the event.

According to Weber, there were a number of cancer survivors “all wearing dark green tee shirts,” who volunteered at water stations and different points throughout the course.

Domer Run began at 11 a.m. at Moose Krause Drive near Notre Dame Stadium and took participants through various parts of Notre Dame’s campus.

All finishers received T-shirts donated by the ND Alumni Association and co-sponsored by RecSports and Work Life and were treated to a pancake buffet at the finish line.

“Winners in 23 categories received plaques and gift certificates for Adidas sandals,” Weber said.

Domer Run began as an event for students to participate in during one away football game in the fall. When RecSports partnered with the Alumni Association to co-sponsor the event in 1997, the Run became a fundraiser for cancer awareness and aid programs. Since 1997, the Run has benefited various types of cancer research, education, support groups and foundations.

Members of the Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross communities could register for the Run for $10 in advance or $15 the day of the race.

Participation was also open to alumni, members of Little Flower Parish, Center for the Homeless and the Women’s Task Force. Registration was $15.00 for these off campus groups.

On Sunday, Weber said RecSports was still in the process of calculating total proceeds from the Run.