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25th Domer Run fields hundreds

Katie Staak | Monday, October 1, 2007

Members of Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross communities raced Saturday morning in the 25th annual Domer Run to raise awareness for ovarian cancer. The run, which is held on a designated away football weekend each fall, sponsors various types of cancer research, support groups and foundations.

Greg Weber, sports camps coordinator for RecSports, said 336 people pre-registered but others showed up Saturday to participate. The race has had over 500 participants in years past.

The money raised from the registration fees and donations will be given toward ovarian cancer awareness. As of Sunday night, no figures were available. The run is sponsored by RecSports, the Notre Dame Alumni Association, Chase Financial and Legends.

According to the American Cancer Society, ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cancer in women. One in every 67 women in the United States will be diagnosed this year.

The event was established in memory of Barbra Link, an alumna and wife of Notre Dame Law School Dean Emeritus Dave Link. Barbara Link battled ovarian cancer before her death in 2003. Dave Link said a blessing over the runners in front of Moose Kraus Drive near the stadium tunnel before the race began.

The streets were lined with signs displaying facts about ovarian cancer so the runners and spectators could understand the cause. Runners also had the chance to write the name of someone they knew who faced or is dealing with ovarian cancer and tie the name to a teal balloon. The balloons were tied on to an arch that lined the start and finish line of the race.

Runners had the opportunity to participate in either a three-mile or six-mile run, or a two-mile walk, all beginning at 10 a.m. Everyone checked in at Legends where they received a T-shirt for participating.

Last year’s winner, Michael Rose, a sophomore at Notre Dame, won the 3-mile race again this year.

“I run for the race, but I definitely support the cause,” Rose said.

The race ended in front of the Hesburgh Library.

“We thought it would be beneficial to run for the cause,” freshman Grace Yeh said.

Many students and faculty, alumni and community members came out Saturday morning for the races.

“I think it was a good way to get involved on campus,” freshman Sara Yusko said.

This year’s run also marked another milestone for the Domer Run tradition. Graduate student James Fetter became the first blind runner in the race’s history.

“I am definitely not a runner,” he said. “I primarily swim. I’ve been a swimmer for years, but I thought I would try something different.”

Fetter participated in the three-mile race.

“Even people with disabilities can take a part in competitive activities, such as a race,” he said.

Fetter’s experience with the Domer Run proved to be a positive one, which may lead to more races in the future for him – if food is involved.

“I might run another race if there is another free breakfast at the end, but I think I would rather stick to swimming.”

At the end of the race, runners made their way back to Legends for a complimentary pancake breakfast, sponsored by Chase Financial.

Participants could register for the Run for $10 in advance or $15 the day of the race.